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HomeNewsTennessee State Trooper makes Traffic Stop and Detects possible Human Sex Trafficking

Tennessee State Trooper makes Traffic Stop and Detects possible Human Sex Trafficking

Tennessee Highway Patrol - THPNashville, TN – On May 27th, 2015, Tennessee State Trooper Jonathan Scott assigned to THP’s Interdiction Plus Team (IPT), made a traffic stop that lead to the arrest of driver Rafael E. Quiroz-Martinez, 22, of Honduras for Human Sex Trafficking, and the safe recovery of a female victim.

While patrolling I-40 West in Knox County, Trooper Scott stopped a 2007 Honda Fit for window tint violation. As the trooper approached the vehicle, he observed several indicators of possible criminal activity within the vehicle.

During Trooper Scott’s interview of the driver and the vehicle’s 19 year old female passenger, several inconsistencies arose in their statements that caused additional suspicion.

After receiving permission from the driver, Trooper Scott searched the vehicle with the assistance of THP Sergeant Mike Turley as well as Knoxville Police Department DHE Officer Trey Lane.

As Trooper Scott was searching, he found the driver in possession of $1,380 in cash, a ledger containing cities and dollar amounts, along with a micro SD storage card in his wallet. The driver did not have any luggage in the vehicle.

As the search continued, Troopers discovered a number of hand-written cards approximately an inch in size, which displayed the words “LON TIME” and two phone numbers.

After checking both subjects and the vehicle through Blue Lighting Operations Center (BLOC), Trooper Scott received information indicating the Houston, Texas address of the vehicle’s registration had previously been involved in two prior human trafficking cases. The driver was found to have a 2013 order for deportation. Homeland Security (HIS) Agent Ted Francisco responded to the scene, along with a translator and a victim/witness coordinator from Knoxville Police Department.

The driver was arrested and taken to the Knox County Detention Facility where HSI placed a detainer on the suspect pending federal prosecution for possible Human Sex Trafficking. The 19 year old female passenger was taken to a safe location where her family was contacted and will pick her up. Her identity is being withheld for her safety.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.

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