BLOUNT COUNTY – An undercover operation conducted by the Human Trafficking Unit of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Alcoa Police Department, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryville Police Department, and the 5th Judicial Drug Task Force has resulted in the arrest of four men.

On Friday and Saturday, as part of a joint investigation aimed at addressing human trafficking in East Tennessee, authorities placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases. The focus of the operation was to identify individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with females under the age of 18, and those engaged in trafficking others for commercial sex acts.

As a result of the operation, Aaron D. Fomby (11/11/90), of Detroit, Michigan, was arrested and charged with one count of Trafficking a Minor for a Commercial Act. He was booked into the Blount County Jail on a $500,000 bond. Orlando Moreno-Martinez (DOB 1/10/81), of Knoxville, was arrested and charged with one count of Trafficking a Minor for a Commercial Act. He was also booked into the Blount County Jail on a $500,000 bond. Upen Patel (DOB 1/25/83), of Sweetwater, was arrested and charged with two counts of Trafficking a Minor for a Commercial Act. He was booked into the Blount County Jail on a $1 million bond. Donald W. Turner (DOB 7/24/72), of Knoxville, was arrested and charged with Promoting Prostitution. He was booked into the Blount County Jail on a $6,000 bond.

At this time, the investigation remains active and ongoing, with the possibility of additional arrests and charges.

Information about human trafficking and TBI’s efforts to address this type of crime can be found online at www.ITHasToStop.com.