published Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Region Digest: Sex enslavement charges added

CLEVELAND, Tenn.

Democratic Party votes on bylaws

All registered Bradley County Democratic voters are eligible to vote on changes being made to the bylaws at a meeting next week.

At 7 p.m. Monday, the Bradley County Democratic Party meets the Bradley County Courthouse’s County Chamber in Cleveland.

The guest speaker will be Jim Bilbo, a Tennessee Democratic Party State Executive committeeman, who will give an update on laws being proposed in the Tennessee Legislature.

ROCK SPRING, Ga.

Walker County GOP hosts picnic

The Walker County Republican Party will host its Ninth District Republican Party picnic on Saturday at the Agricultural Center in Rock Spring.

Starting at noon, the keynote speaker will be Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. He will be joined by Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., state Attorney General Sam Olens and state GOP Chairman Sue Everhart.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $5 for children under 12.

For more information, contact Walker County GOP Chairman Nathan Smith at 423-364-2964.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn.

Sex enslavement charges added

A federal grand jury in Greeneville has returned a superseding indictment, adding more counts and seeking to seize property in a sexual enslavement case.

Nine defendants had been named in an earlier indictment that charged they lured illegal immigrant women with promises of jobs and then forced them into prostitution with threats.

U.S. Attorney William C. Killian in Knoxville noted that the charges are only allegations, but said the defendants are accused of taking advantage of women in the worst way.

The superseding charges were returned by a grand jury on July 6. They allege the defendants operated brothels and delivered prostitutes to clients in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.

KNOXVILLE

Official charged in misconduct

Authorities have arrested the former Sevier County Utility District vice president on suspicion of official misconduct.

An audit revealed that Jeffrey McCarter arranged a deal to trade in a utility pickup for $10,000 less than its worth to the agency.

The 49-year-old then allegedly purchased the vehicle and traded it at a local dealership for fair market price.

McCarter was released from the Sevier County Jail on Wednesday.

ATHENS, Ga.

Fire probe yields suspicious device

Authorities say an Athens-Clarke County police detective found a suspicious device when he investigated a fire at a home.

Officials say the University of Georgia police Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit destroyed the object the detective found in a closet.

Authorities say UGA bomb technicians used a robot to bring the suspicious object outside and then blew it up.

Later, police said the object appears to have been a piece of artwork.

Athens-Clarke fire Sgt. Larry Ford said police also found two bottles of lighter fluid on a bed in the basement that had been set on fire.

He said the fire was so hot it caused a water pipe to spring a leak that effectively turned it into a sprinkler system, putting out the fire.

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