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Six men charged in undercover human trafficking investigation

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Posted at 6:52 PM, Jun 01, 2021

SWEETWATER, Tenn. (WTVF) — Six men were arrested in an undercover human trafficking investigation in Sweetwater, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The two-day undercover operation began May 26 and was conducted by the TBI’s Human Trafficking Unit and multiple other agencies.

Authorities placed several decoy advertisements known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases. As a result, the following men were arrested and booked into the Monroe County Jail.

  • Matthew Jason Cohen, DOB: 6-14-1978, Maryville: Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act
  • Steven Lawrence Kobylski, DOB: 09-07-1987, Decatur: Soliciting Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
  • James Stephen Stinnett, DOB: 03-27-1984, Madisonville: Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act
  • Anthony Cornelius Baylis, DOB: 11-23-1983, Harriman: Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act
  • Joshua James Thomas, DOB: 3-31-1989, Tellico Plains: Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act
  • Pedro Juan Berenguer Torres, DOB: 11-30-1970, Powell: Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act

TBI’s Human Trafficking Unit, the Sweetwater Police Department, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the 10th Judicial District Drug & Violent Crime Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, and the office of 10th District Attorney General Steve Crump all contributed to the investigation.

The operation also had the support of Grow Free TN and WillowBend Farms, which work to provide services to survivors of human trafficking.