COOKEVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Seven men face felony charges following an undercover operation aimed at addressing human trafficking in Middle Tennessee, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Monday.
The two-day joint operation by the TBI Human Trafficking Unit and Human Trafficking Task Force, the Cookeville Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations and the office of 13th District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway sought to identify people seeking to purchase illicit sex from minors and recover potential victims of human trafficking.
On Wednesday and Thursday, authorities placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases.
Those arrested included:
- Michael Blair, 68, Sparta, patronizing prostitution of a minor
- Daniel Dubree, 41, Cookeville, trafficking for a commercial sex act
- Christopher Garcia-Perez, 18, Washington, NC, patronizing prostitution of a minor
- Steven Howard, 58, Cookeville, trafficking for a commercial sex act
- Jonathan McDonald, 37, Sparta, trafficking for a commercial sex act
- David McGee, 26, Cookeville, trafficking for a commercial sex act
- Eric Trobaugh, 33, Celina, patronizing prostitution of a minor, soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor
The TBI said the operation had the support of Grow Free/Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking and WillowBend Farms, which work to provide wraparound services to survivors of human trafficking.
Information about human trafficking and the TBI’s efforts to address this type of crime can be found online.