Four men charged in Bradley County, Tennessee, human trafficking probe

Closeup of silver handcuffs detaining crime prisoners. Shot on the wooden table arrest tile arrests / Getty Images
photo Timothy Carter / Photo from
photo Stephen Whited / Photo from
photo Brian Hamler / Photo from
photo Donald Thomas / Photo from

A joint undercover investigation aimed at human trafficking in Bradley County, Tennessee, has led to the arrest of four men, according to a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation news release.

The TBI, the Cleveland Police Department and the Bradley County Sheriff's Office all participated.

Authorities put several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex acts over a three-day period beginning Aug. 15, the TBI said. The operation was focused on identifying people seeking to engage in sex acts for money with people under 18, to rescue people forced into trafficking and to target people who looked to force others into trafficking.

Arrested and booked into the Bradley County Jail were Timothy Carter, 40, of Crossville, Tenn.; Stephen Whited, 29, of Sweetwater, Tenn., and Brian Hamler, 44, of Atlanta. Each man is charged with one count of trafficking for commercial sex.

Also arrested was Donald Thomas, 46, of Lawrenceville, Ga., who is charged with one count of promoting prostitution and one count of criminal impersonation.

The investigation is ongoing, according to the TBI.

More information about human trafficking can be found online at