Human trafficking chattanooga, tn

Human trafficking chattanooga, tn DEFAULT

Engaging, Empowering and Transitioning Women Survivors of Trafficking, Prostitution and Addiction Toward a Christ-centered Community of Grace in Chattanooga, TN and North Georgia

Love's Arm was established in 2005 on the pillars of Love and Community. This guides us in everything we do. With a Christ-centered approach, we reach out to women in the motels, streets, jails, and strip clubs who are suffering from sexual exploitation in the region of Hamilton County, TN and North Georgia. Partnering with agencies and providers we offer resource referrals as well as a two year cost free recovery home dedicated to assisting survivors of trafficking, prostitution and addiction find hope and healing to move on to life abundant. Our non-profit organization was founded by Mimi Nikkel who is a sex trafficking survivor herself. She now serves as the Founding Director of Love's Arm as our voice to spread the message of healing beyond the shame to the media, civic organizations, churches and advocacy networks. Mimi and the entire team at Love's Arm including volunteers are committed to what we do, and it drives us every day to make a difference in the lives of women who want to get out of sex trafficking and prostitution situations. 

It takes a community in unity to give life to its neighbors.


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WVLT) - Fourteen men were arrested in Chattanooga, Tennessee after an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation linked them to human trafficking incidents.

According to the TBI, a two day operation beginning December 9, lead agents to the arrest of 14 men accused of seeking sex from minors.

During the investigation, “authorities placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases,”

The purpose of the two-day operation was to find individuals who were trying to engage in “commercial sex acts with minors”.

As a result of the investigation, the following 14 men were arrested and booked into the Hamilton County Jail:

*Gregory Joiner (DOB 7/12/60), Chattanooga: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act

*Thomas Baggenstoss (DOB 3/6/77), Knoxville: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act

*Rubelino Velasquez Salas (DOB 1/6/89), Chattanooga: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act

*William Fugate (DOB 8/18/76), Riceville: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act

*Jerome Stewart (DOB 10/17/95) Chattanooga: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act, Possession of Marijuana

*Michael Scarlett (DOB 3/3/98), Houston, TX: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act

*Khadim Gueye (DOB 9/26/87), Chattanooga, TN: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act

*Sibley Evans (DOB 7/10/77), Lupton City: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act

*Aurelio Hernandez (DOB 9/25/88), Roanoke, VA: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act

*Thomas Cochran (DOB 4/27/78), Carrollton, GA: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act, Possession of Meth, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

*Nicholas Underwood (DOB 9/9/99), Cohutta, GA: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act, Possession of a Firearm While in Commission of a Felony

*Bersain Velasquez (DOB 5/24/79), Chattanooga: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act

*Qu’darius Smith (DOB 12/10/97), Chattanooga: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act, Possession of Meth, Possession of Marijuana

*Nelvin Cruz-Cruz (DOB 2/17/72), Lilburn, GA: Trafficking for Commercial Sex Act

The operation also focused on identifying potential trafficking victims. As a result, one woman was offered housing and counseling services through ‘Grow Free Tennessee’, a program of the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and Willowbend Farms.

You can learn more about human trafficking here.

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Human Trafficking

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is committed to understanding and fighting Human Trafficking. Our state has consistently been ranked among the best in the nation for its approach to this crime, as a growing number of advocates -- from law enforcement to nonprofits to government agencies -- have stepped up to play a part in the solution.

Consider the facts:

  • In the United States, on average, every two minutes, a child is bought or sold for sex.
  • The average age of a child sold for sex is 13 years old.
  • Human Trafficking is the second-fastest growing criminal industry, just behind Drug Trafficking.

In recent years, the TBI commissioned several comprehensive studies in an attempt to better understand the issue in Tennessee.

In 2014, the TBI launched a public awareness campaign to inform the state about Human Trafficking, and more importantly, what can be done about it. Online, you'll find more information, videos, warning signs, and a list of nonprofits committed to the fight in need of your support. Together, we believe we can put and to this kind of crime.

Suspect someone may be a victim of human trafficking? Call the Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-55-TNHTH.

Human Trafficking in Tennessee

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Tn human trafficking chattanooga

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Local groups work to fight growing human trafficking industry in Tennessee Valley

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