Photo: 13 of the 18 men arrested as part of TBI’s Human Trafficking operation
Photo Credit: churchleaders.com
Published July 14, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested and charged 18 men as part of a human trafficking investigation in Spring Hill. The group includes a man listed as youth pastor of a church in Centerville and as a Tennessee National Guardsman.
According to the release from the TBI, their Human Trafficking Unit worked with the Spring Hill Police Department, the FBI, Homeland Security, and the office of District Attorney General Brent Cooper. They launched a two-day undercover operation on July 8, during which they placed advertisements on a number of websites with known ties to cases of prostitution and commercial sex.
The advertisements were listed in a way that individuals would have to intentionally seek them out; they could not merely stumble upon them. Suspects responding to the ads agreed to meet an underage girl at a local motel but arrived to find an undercover officer waiting inside instead.
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Their plan was to target individuals who were attempting to give money in exchange for illicit sex from minors and to find and assist potential victims of human trafficking. They had video cameras in the hotel rooms so they would be able to prosecute suspects to the full extent of the law.
The operation resulted in the arrest of the following 18 men who were then booked into the Maury County jail.
- Georgie George, 25, Clarksville, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Marvin Sparkman, 29, Columbia, TN: Solicitation of a Minor
- Steven McCanless, 26, Culleoka, TN: Solicitation of a Minor
- Ketankumar Patel, 53, Columbia, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Ivan Ashley, 49, Dania, FL: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- David Christopher May, 26, Fayetteville, TN: Solicitation of a Minor
- Andrew Myung Kim, 38, Franklin, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Bryce Lawson, 23, Charles, LA: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Jeremiah McSpaddin, 36, Spring Hill, TN: Solicitation of a Minor
- Brian Mitchell, 50, Thompson’s Station, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Nabi Rahman, 33, Nashville, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Patrick Harris, 32, Murfreesboro, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Matthew Brewer, 47, Centerville, TN: Solicitation of a Minor
- Suleiman Musa Osman, 38, Chattanooga, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Juan Gabriel Hernandez Eufracio, 36, Huntsville, AL: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Pablo Godines Cervantes, 51, Columbia, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Haojie Wang, 32, Brentwood, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
- Luis Diaz-Mendez, 27, Baton Rouge, LA: Patronizing Prostitution from a Mino
Officers also recovered drugs and a gun during the operations.
Matthew Brewer, one of the men arrested, was listed as being the youth pastor for the Fairfield Baptist Church in Centerville and served as a chaplain for the Tennessee National Guard.
Lieutenant Justin Whitwell says events like this paint servicemen in a bad light.
“He’s a trusted figure. It’s a blemish on our armed services. He’s a trusted person within the community and he goes and betrays the trust of his community and here locally in Middle Tennessee,” Whitwell stated.
Since the news broke, the church has removed Brewer’s information from their website and released the following statement:
“Our Fairfield Baptist Church family was shocked and saddened with the situation this past weekend involving our youth minister. We are prepared to work with law enforcement if asked and, like many others, are hoping to receive information from law enforcement that will help us better understand all the details. The content of what was shared with us is not aligned with our Biblical values. We met with our church family Sunday to share what little we knew, and our youth minister has been suspended indefinitely from his duties and the church campus pending court proceedings. We ask that people would pray for the Brewer family and the church family and anyone else involved as we work through what’s happened.”
The Tennessee National Guard also released a statement, saying, “The Tennessee Military Department is aware of the recent arrest of a Tennessee National Guardsman and are fully supporting and assisting civil law enforcement as they conduct their investigation. The charges made in this incident do not reflect or meet the standards of the Tennessee National Guard or the Army Values.”
Whitwell also noted that a number of the suspects are repeat offenders.
“We don’t know how many times they’ve done this without being caught. It’s an ongoing problem that we are trying to eradicate here locally and other jurisdictions. They do these types of operations all the time, so we know we are going to eventually catch you. If you keep doing this, we are going to catch you,” Whitwell said.
The investigation is ongoing and may result in additional charges being filed.
About the Author:
Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative
Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com