At least 22 men have been indicted as part of an undercover human trafficking operation in Brentwood, Tennessee.
As part of the sting in early October, two female agents posed as prostitutes on Backpage.com, and offered sex for purchase.
During the text message exchanges with dozens and dozens of would-be customers, the agents identified themselves as minors.
TBI Deputy Director Jason Locke says, “This is a demand driven crime and we will never arrest our way out of it. Quite simply, we need men to expect more of themselves and their friends. Hold one another accountable. Remember, these women and children are people, not product."
He goes on to add, "We have offered services to several different trafficking victims through our nonprofits. We always ... have the nonprofits there on site at the operation with us and stand ready to offer services to any of them that want a way out. We're there to provide them a way out and to try to get them out of that lifestyle."
Eleven of the 22 men who were indicted are still in the custody of immigration and customs enforcement. Twenty of the 22 suspects are in custody in some form.