SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says 18 men have been charged in connection with a two-day human trafficking investigation in Spring Hill.
The TBI announced the arrests Monday morning, saying the suspects are accused of “seeking illicit sex from minors.”
One of the men was a youth pastor and member of the Tennessee National Guard.
TBI officials said the investigation began on July 8 as part of an undercover operation to fight human trafficking in Middle Tennessee. Investigators said they placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases. The TBI said it hoped to identify victims of human trafficking, as well as potential suspects.
According to the TBI, human trafficking is the second-fastest growing criminal industry in the U.S., just behind drug trafficking.
The investigation remains ongoing and additional charges are pending. Investigators said the following suspects were arrested and booked into the Maury County Jail:
- Georgie George (DOB 11/26/95), Clarksville, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Marvin Sparkman (DOB 1/26/92), Columbia, TN: Solicitation of a Minor
- Steven McCanless (DOB 1/16/95), Culleoka, TN: Solicitation of a Minor
- Ketankumar Patel (DOB 4/5/68), Columbia, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Ivan Ashley (DOB 8/20/71), Dania, FL: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- David Christopher May (DOB 9/25/94), Fayetteville, TN: Solicitation of a Minor
- Andrew Myung Kim (DOB 12/2/82), Franklin, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Bryce Lawson (DOB 7/2/97), Charles, LA: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Jeremiah McSpaddin (DOB 1/31/85), Spring Hill, TN: Solicitation of a Minor
- Brian Mitchell (DOB 8/5/70), Thompson’s Station, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Nabi Rahman (DOB 3/5/88), Nashville, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Patrick Harris (DOB 4/9/89), Murfreesboro, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Matthew Brewer (DOB 2/27/74), Centerville, TN: Solicitation of a Minor
- Brewer is a youth pastor and chaplain with the Tennessee National Guard. His church and the Tennessee Military Department released the statements below:
"Our Fairfield Baptist Church family was shocked and saddened with the situation this past weekend involving our youth minister. We are prepared to work with law enforcement if asked, and like many others, are hoping to receive information from law enforcement that will help us better understand all the details. The content of what was shared with us is not aligned with our Biblical values. We met with our church family Sunday to share what little we knew and our youth minister has been suspended indefinitely from his duties and the church campus pending court proceedings. We ask that people would pray for the Brewer family and the church family and anyone else involved as we work through what's happened."
“The Tennessee Military Department is aware of the recent arrest of a Tennessee National Guardsman and are fully supporting and assisting civil law enforcement as they conduct their investigation. The charges made in this incident do not reflect or meet the standards of the Tennessee National Guard or the Army Values.”
- Suleiman Musa Osman (DOB 1/1/83), Chattanooga, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Juan Gabriel Hernandez Eufracio (DOB 8/29/84), Huntsville, AL: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Pablo Godines Cervantes (DOB 5/17/70), Columbia, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Haojie Wang (DOB 2/25/89), Brentwood, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Luis Diaz-Mendez (DOB 4/17/94), Baton Rouge, LA: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor