Ad Spot

Seven men arrested, charged in Erwin human trafficking operation

ERWIN – A two-day undercover operation by special agents with the TBI Human Trafficking Unit, the Erwin Police Department, the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Jonesborough Police Department, and the office of 1st District Attorney General Ken Baldwin has resulted in the arrest of several men accused of seeking illicit sex from minors.
 
Over a two-day period beginning June 9th, as part of an undercover investigation aimed at addressing human trafficking in East Tennessee, authorities placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases. The focus of the operation was to identify individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors. As a result of the operation, authorities arrested seven men and booked them into the Unicoi County Jail:
 
• Mark Daniel Higgins, 59, Asheville, NC: Solicitation of a Minor by Electronic Means, Solicitation of a Minor
• Jeffrey Lynn Rhoney, 61, Arden, NC: Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act (2 counts), Solicitation of a Minor (2  counts), Purchase of Alcohol for Someone Under 21
• Steven Charles Mayes, 47, Morristown: Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act, Solicitation of a Minor
• Benjamin Bouchot Moreno, 50, Asheville, NC: Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act (2 counts), Solicitation of a Minor(2  counts)
• Jose Raul Delgado Andrade, 41, Johnson City: Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act, Solicitation of a Minor
• Alberto Vazquez Gonzalez, 46, Bristol, VA: Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act, Solicitation of a Minor
• Randall Dale Staton, 54, Bakersville, NC: Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act, Solicitation of a Minor
 
Information about human trafficking and TBI’s efforts to address this type of crime can be found online at www.ITHasToStop.com.

Local news

The makings of a beautiful park… Cooke family donation will be a ‘jewel’ for the Tweetsie Trail

Local news

Prepping for a new firehouse…

Arrests

Seven men arrested, charged in Erwin human trafficking operation

Community

Viola Baker celebrates 90th birthday on June 5

Local news

Carter County is a wee bit older than Tennessee

Local news

United Way hosts breakfast to kick off annual Week of Caring events

Local news

Jonesborough Days returns 4th of July Weekend

Columns

What makes a hero?

Local news

Ballad Health and STRONG Accountable Care Community partner with Unite Us  

Local news

A smoldering topic… City Council hears more response concerning car show

Local news

Annual free fishing  for kids

Local news

TDEC announces $500,000 grant for City’s Covered Bridge Park

Local news

Stoney Creek Fire Dept. hosts ‘Go topless in Stoney Creek’ Jeep Poker Run

Church News

Decoration Day at Lyons Cemetery

Church News

Church Briefs

Church News

What would you do if arrested for talking about God?

Church News

Being mindful of God and others

Local news

Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter board charged to reduce budget numbers

Local news

United Way gives out three $10,000 grants to local non-profits

Local news

Free Fishing Day Saturday

News

Testimony: Professor noted ties to China in reports

Local news

ETSU Radiologic Science Program celebrates pass rates, job placements

Local news

Mentors needed for TN Promise

Local news

Signs of a good pulse… Community’s heartbeat showing a positive sign of rebounding life