CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WATE) — A two-day human trafficking operation in the Chattanooga area ended with five men facing charges and several women accepting services from Grow Free Tennessee according to the TBI.
The operation took place on August 25 and 26, and was a partnership between the TBI’s Human Trafficking Unit, the Tennessee Human Trafficking Task Force, FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, the Chattanooga Police Department, the Office of 11th Judicial District Attorney General Coty Wamp, and Grow Free Tennessee.
During the operation, the TBI says there was a total of 21 encounters with individuals.
Authorities worked to rescue potential trafficking victims while identifying others engaged in trafficking, promoting, recruiting, or soliciting others for the purpose of commercial sex, the TBI said.
The TBI says the five men charged include:
- David Acevedo, 25, was charged with Simple Possession, Unlawful Carrying or Possession of a Weapon, Drug Paraphernalia, Promoting Prostitution
- Jermaine Suttles, 41, was charged with Promoting Prostitution
- Ian Strebeck, 33, was charged with Promoting Prostitution and Drug Paraphernalia
- Jonathan Harris, 43, was charged with Promoting Prostitution
- Brandon Nichols, 33 was charged with Manufacture/Sale/Delivery of Schedule II – Fentanyl
Others were cited or arrested on outstanding, unrelated warrants during the operation, the TBI said. In addition to the women who were offered and accepted services from Grow Free Tennessee, several others declined services, the TBI added.