Police: More arrests possible after 13 jailed in human trafficking sting in Sumner County

Human trafficking press conference sumner county
Posted at 4:24 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 07:43:08-05

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — They thought they were meeting up with a 16-year-old, but came face-to-face with a police officer instead.

Thirteen men could each spend between 15 and 25 years in prison if they're found guilty of sex charges, following a human trafficking sting in Sumner County. The group included a Metro employee as well as a part-time music teacher.

At a press conference on Thursday, police said their work was just getting started.

"There may be more arrests pertaining to this operation other than the 13 that did show up," said Det. Lisa Byington of the Sumner County Sheriff's Office.

Last week, police said 100 men responded to a fake advertisement they created offering up a teenager for sex.

"I'd say roughly 50 actually started the initial conversation with our undercover officers. Of those 50, 13 showed up. I would like to say none showed up. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case," Byington said.

Officers described what a sting that helps children being sold for sex would look like.

"People there from End Slavery Tennessee [and] once we got them in there if they wanted help and needed that help we were able to get them that," Byington said.

The Sumner County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, Department of Homeland Security with local police hope to carry out that operation soon.