Alcoa, TN

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Alcoa is a small city of less than 10,000 residents, located south of Knoxville in Blount County, Tennessee. Local problems with prostitution, particularly occurring within adult-oriented businesses, have been reported in the community for over a decade. In 2002, for example, law enforcement dismantled a statewide prostitution ring operating out of several Blount County massage parlors including operations based in Alcoa.

Among their efforts to reduce prostitution in the community, the Alcoa Police Department has conducted at least two reverse stings to arrest sex buyers. In 2006, the APD apprehended six johns and one male juvenile during a prostitution sting along Hall Road. All of the adult offenders’ names and other identifying information were released to the public; in 2007, the Maryville Daily Times reported that a Blount County judge had agreed to dismiss the “patronizing prostitution” charges leveled against the six men on the contingency that they avoid re-arrest and pay all court costs.

In December 2014, media reported that APD officers had partnered with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a john sting that resulted in the arrest of four men. Although the logistical details of the operation were not disclosed, a BCSO representative stated in a press release that “the arrests were the result of a joint undercover investigation with the Alcoa Police Department to address recent complaints from the community regarding illegal activity at some local establishments.” All of the arrestees’ identities were publicized by local media outlets.

In July, 2019, a web-based revers sting was conducted in Alcoa and surrounding areas in East Tennessee, resulting in the arrest of four men. Authorities placed decoy advertisements on websites known to be used for prostitution and commercial sex. Their goal was to identify people seeking to buy sex with females under age 18, as well as individuals engaged in trafficking others for commercial sex acts.  The TBI, Alcoa Police Department, Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Maryville Police Department, and 5th Judicial Drug Task Force were all involved in the operation.

Key Partners

  • Alcoa Police Department
  • Blount County Sheriff’s Office
  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
  • Maryville Police Department
  • 5th Judicial Drug Task Force

Key Sources

Reverse Stings with Shaming:

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Shaming:

Background on Sex Trafficking and Prostitution in the Area:

State Tennessee
Type City
Population 8449
Location
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