10 men have been indicted in an undercover sting that aimed to find men who were attempting to purchase sex from minors. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced the indictments Thursday.
The operation began in Cookeville, Tenn. on February 15 and continued until February 17. The operation was focused on individuals who were seeking to engage in sexual activity with females under the age of 18 – and those who were trafficking others for sex.
Advertisements were placed on backpage.com, and TBI agents posed as young girls offering sex.
During conversations via phone and text, the agents identified themselves as girls between 14 and 17.
10 men – college students, a mail carrier, and a landscaping company owner, among others – traveled to a predetermined location to meet for sex, according to the TBI.
In total, men using nearly 700 different phone numbers responded to the online ads over a three-day period. The total number of calls and texts exceeded 5,200.
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“I am pleased that this investigation was successful,” 13th District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway said during a news conference. “At the same time, I find it disturbing and tragic that there is even a need to conduct such an investigation in our community. The District Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to be proactive in the fight to protect child victims and to expose and hold accountable those who prey on them.”
On May 8, a Putnam County, Tenn. grand jury returned indictments that charged 10 individuals in connection with the operation. So far, eight have been taken into custody.
- Kenneth Hobbs (Dunlap): One count Patronizing Prostitution (Class B Felony)
- Lance Hatmaker (Carthage): One count Patronizing Prostitution (Class A Felony)
- Matthew Kenty (Birmingham, AL): One count Patronizing Prostitution (Class B Felony)
- Nicanor Baraiac (Lenoir City): One count Patronizing Prostitution (Class A Felony)
- Nathaniel Stalnaker (Cookeville): One count Patronizing Prostitution (Class A Felony)
- Justin Adcock (Algood): One count Patronizing Prostitution (Class A Felony)
- Daniel Baltazar (Cookeville): One count Patronizing Prositution (Class B Felony)
- Marcus Clark (Monroe): One count Patronizing Prostitution (Class A Felony)
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