U.S. Attorney's office expects human trafficking arrests during busy week with NFL Draft in Nashville

Posted at 1:01 PM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 20:18:25-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — There will be arrests. That's the word from the U.S. attorney's office with the expectation human trafficking cells from outside the state are on the way to do business in Nashville. Why?

It's the NFL draft , the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, concerts and more. All of which are drawing hundreds of thousands to Nashville.

Unfortunately, those crowds are also expected to draw more sex work and human trafficking to the city.

"It can come from other cities. They are opportunistic, you know, like businesses come to Nashville. Food trucks come because of demand. It's the same thing as human trafficking," said Sara Beth Meyers, the human trafficking coordinator with the U.S. Attorney's office.

We've heard about security and how it will be tight for the NFL draft but now intelligence indicates authorities expect some unsavory individuals coming from as far away as New York City, drawn by the huge crowds.

"Highly-organized human trafficking cells will send people here for sure," said Meyers. This adds to already established human trafficking network in the city.

In the coming days there's sure to be a spike in this type of crime so police in cooperation with the NFL and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will be out in force. The plan is for incredibly quick responses to tips on such illegal activities.

"There will be arrests this weekend," said Meyers. "We're ready and we are prepared. And there will be an increase in law enforcement stings most likely as well."

Those undercover stings will target those seeking the services of a sex worker and those who have come to Nashville hoping to a make a quick buck trafficking in the illegal sex trade.

The public can help with the effort. If you see someone who you suspect is a victim of human trafficking, call 9-1-1 or the Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-558-6484.