Church youth pastor, volunteer fire fighter and Uber driver also charged
More sting operations and investigations planned
Coach arrested. Up to eleven men, including a middle school coach and church youth leader have been charged in a Human Trafficking sex investigation in Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). Others arrested in a sting, set up by agents of the TBI and officers in the Kingsport Police Department, include a volunteer firefighter, an EMT, and Uber driver.
Director of TBI Mark Gwyn said the sting operation took place July 31-Augst 3 and was called “Someone Like Me.” It was the 10th of its kind in the State of Tennessee. TBI and local police coordinated the operation along with 2nd Judicial District Drug Task Force, Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office, and Homeland Security.
The coach was identified as a teacher at Sullivan North Middle School in Kingsport and among those men who were contacting potential victims of trafficking and seeking to purchase illicit sex from a juvenile. Brandon R. Summey, 32, has been placed on administrative leave, according to Sullivan County Board of Education chairman Michael Hughes.
“We want to make sure there’s no place that feels safe to those men who would victimize our state’s most vulnerable,” Gwyn said. “Many still think this is something that just happens in big cities. The results of this operation prove that’s not the case.”
TBI Deputy Director Jason Locke said during the first three days of the investigation, undercover agents posed as juvenile girls and posted ads on Backpage.com.
“Of the 11 men who showed up seeking sex with a minor, three of them wanted to purchase sex from a 16-year-old,” Locke said. “We will continue to conduct these operations across the state and do whatever it takes to bring those trafficking women and children, as well as those supplying the demand, to justice.”
The fourth day of the operation focused on identifying victims of trafficking with the help of the nonprofit agency Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking.