NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A state lawmaker recently invited by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to watch a Nashville area sex trafficking sting says it was an eye-opening experience.
Rep. Michael Curcio said it “would surprise a lot of people” how widespread the crime is and where it takes place.
“They basically have areas set up where you can observe,” said Rep. Curcio.
What Rep. Curcio saw, along with a few other state lawmakers, was human trafficking sting in in early November at a suburban Nashville hotel in the Brentwood area.
Twenty-two men were busted after going there to have what they believed would be sex with 14- and 16-year-old girls.
Instead, they were met by TBI agents who had posed online as the young girls.
The first-term Tennessee lawmaker and vice-chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee described what struck him.
“It could have just as easily have happened in any place in Tennessee,” said Rep. Curcio. “They have done stings in east Tennessee, in West Tennessee, in Nashville, in suburban areas, In urban areas. I think people would be surprised to see where it would take place.”
Rep. Curcio stood with those who conducted the sting when it was announced during a mid-November news conference.
He told News 2 what was going on in his mind while watching the events of a few nights earlier.
“While you are waiting for the ‘john’ to arrive, you are thinking about the implications of that and what is going on in cities all across America and across the world right now where this exact thing is happening, except its not an agent sitting in the room.” said the lawmaker. “It’s actually a child being trafficked.”
In Tennessee, reports have indicated 94 to 100 children trafficked for sex every month.