MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ten people have been arrested in an undercover human trafficking sting centered around a hotel in Harbor Town.
A two-day human trafficking takedown in Harbor Town is a success.
Nine men and one woman have been arrested after a multi-agency undercover operation led by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and the Memphis Police Department.
Most of the men coming to the River Inn hotel, thinking they were going to meet 16-year-old prostitutes for sex.
Police said 21-year-old Chelsea Bandy was arrested for prostitution along with 31-year-old Cortez Holloway who’s accused of promoting the activity.
“In general, this is not the very first time these people have done this,” Jeremy Lofquest said from the TBI’s Human Trafficking Unit.
Jeremy Lofquest is the assistant special agent in charge of the TBI’s Human Trafficking Unit.
He said the state has seen a yearly 30 percent increase in tips to its hotline since the start of the pandemic.
This brought the operation to the border of Memphis.
“It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what area of the state. we are working on combating trafficking on every level whether that’s the buyer side or victim recovery side,” Loftquest said.
Monday, 52-year-old Tony Wolfe of Horn Lake and 55-year-old Patrick Watt appeared in court. Both are accused of bring money to the hotel to pay the undercover officers posing as teens for sex.
With predators always on the prowl, the TBI said they never know who they’re going to catch.
The TBI said several other stings are in the works. They said weapons, guns, and drugs were also seized during this operation.