*Updated: 8/30/21 at 6:44 p.m. to correct hometown of Gene Depriest.
JACKSON – A two-day joint undercover operation by special agents with the TBI Human Trafficking Unit and Human Trafficking Task Force and the Jackson Police Department, in conjunction with Operation United Front, a 12-state human trafficking operation led by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, has resulted in the arrest of 11 men accused of seeking illicit sex from minors. This operation was worked in conjunction with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office Metro Narcotics Unit, the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, and the Office of 26th District Attorney General Jody Pickens.
Over a two-day period beginning August 26th, as part of an undercover investigation aimed at addressing human trafficking in West 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 those seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors and recover potential victims of human trafficking. As a result of the operation, authorities arrested 11 men. Each was booked into the Madison County or Chester County Jail on $100,000 bond and held at the Chester County Jail. A judge later lowered the bond for Gene Depriest to $10,000.
The investigation remains ongoing, with additional charges pending.
- Christopher Clark (DOB: 11/24/96), Milan: Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor
- Gene Depriest (DOB: 5/17/42), Linden: Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor
- Charles Dunigan (DOB: 5/8/85), Jackson: Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor, Simple Possession of Marijuana
- Rickius Grant (DOB: 7/24/96), West Memphis, AR: Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor (2 counts), Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Simple Possession of Marijuana
- Troyce Hudson (DOB: 5/31/75), Jackson: Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor
- Shravan Niranjan (DOB: 11/20/78), Collierville: Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor
- Brian Patterson (DOB: 7/23/71), Trezevant: Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor (2 counts)
- Dustin Smith (DOB: 12/1/88), Drummonds: Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor
- Brandon Williams (DOB: 5/29/82), Bartlett: Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor
- Clyde Willis (DOB: 8/29/81), Jackson: Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor (2 counts)
- Micah Wilson (DOB: 12/29/69), Trenton: Patronizing Prostitution of a Minor
The operation also had the support of Restore Corps and Scarlet Rope Project, which work to provide services to survivors of human trafficking.
Information about human trafficking and the TBI’s efforts to address this type of crime can be found online at www.ItHasToStop.com.