TBI: 8 arrested for allegedly seeking illicit sex from minors in Johnson City

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WATE) – Eight men have been arrested after allegedly seeking illicit sex from minors according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Special agents with the TBI Human Trafficking Unit and detectives with the Johnson City Police Department launched a two-day undercover operation that began March 12 that aimed to address human trafficking in East Tennessee.

Several decoy ads were placed on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases; specifically to find individuals that were seeking to engage in illicit sexual acts with minors.

Eight men were arrested and booked into the Washington County Jail due to this operation:

  • Todd Prewitt, Date of birth 09/18/1973, Chuckey, Tenn.: Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act
Todd Prewitt
  • Joseph Cunningham, Date of birth 03/14/1998, Bluff City, Tenn.: Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act
Joseph Cunningham
  • Stephen Ezeagu, Date of birth 07/06/1990, Johnson City: Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act
Stephen Ezeagu
  • Malik Howse, Date of birth 04/25/1997, Johnson City: Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act
Malik Howse
  • Ronald Casdorph, Date of birth 09/11/1967, Johnson City: Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act (2 counts)
Ronald Casdorph
  • John Hutchison, Date of birth 07/01/1954, Bristol, Tenn.: Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act
John Hutchison
  • Jared Curtis, Date of birth 10/28/1994, Piney Flats, Tenn.: Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act
Jared Curtis
  • Joseph Harless, Date of birth 04/03/2000, Johnson City: Trafficking a Person for a Commercial Sex Act
Joseph Harless

The investigation was also focused on identifying potential victims of trafficking. The TBI says four adult women were cited and offered services such as housing and counseling through Grow Free Tennessee, which is a program of the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

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