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Two East Tennesseans, two others arrested after human trafficking sting

Authorities said the four were arrested as part of an investigation into human trafficking in the area.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it has made another human trafficking bust as part of a push to uncover crimes and rescue victims across Tennessee. 

Four more men are behind bars, including two from East Tennessee and two others from Georgia, after agents conducted a investigation in Bradley County.

RELATED: Four arrested in East Tennessee following human trafficking sting

According to the TBI, authorities arrested Timothy Carter from Crossville, Stephen Whited from Sweetwater, and Brian Hamler from Atlanta on one count of trafficking for commercial sex. Donald Thomas from Lawrenceville, Ga. was arrested on one count of promoting prostitution and one count of criminal impersonation.

According to the TBI, special agents began a 3-day undercover investigation on Aug. 15 aimed at addressing human trafficking in Bradley County. Authorities said they placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex acts. 

The TBI said the focus was to identify people seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with individuals under the age of 18, as well as to rescue people forced into trafficking.

The four men were booked into the Bradley County Jail. The TBI said the investigation is ongoing and there could possibly be more arrests and charges. 

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