*Updated 1/24/22 at 10:52 a.m. – Thomas Riedmaier information updated to reflect his correct name, Thomas Joseph, date of birth, and hometown.

MEMPHIS – A two-day undercover operation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Human Trafficking Unit, Memphis Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the office of 30th District Attorney General Amy Weirich has resulted in the arrest of nine individuals and the seizure of weapons, drugs, vehicles, and cash.

Over a two-day period beginning January 21st, as part of an undercover investigation aimed at addressing human trafficking in the Memphis area, undercover officers placed decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex.  The focus of the operation was to identify individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors.  As a result of the operation, agents and investigators arrested nine men and booked them into the Shelby County Jail.

  • Nathan Durham (DOB: 9/15/75), Memphis: Two counts Trafficking for Commercial Sex Acts, one count Possession with Intent (marijuana), three counts Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, three counts Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Dangerous Felony; $15,000 bond
  • Doubse Edwards (DOB: 5/19/66), Memphis: Two counts Trafficking for Commercial Sex Acts, one count Possession with Intent (cocaine), one count Felony Possession of Methamphetamine; $40,000 bond
  • Cortez Holloway (DOB: 1/26/90), Memphis: One count Promoting Prostitution; $5,000 bond
  • Thomas Joseph (DOB: 4/23/55), Decatur, Ala.: Two counts Trafficking for Commercial Sex Acts; $7,500 bond
  • Lironda Knighten (DOB: 1/9/96), Marion, Ark.: Two counts Trafficking for Commercial Sex Acts, one count Possession with Intent (marijuana), one count Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, one count Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Dangerous Felony, $20,000 bond
  • Mark Pitts (DOB: 10/11/73), Forrest City, Ark.: Two counts Trafficking for Commercial Sex Acts, $10,000 bond
  • Steven Scroggins (DOB: 11/18/84), Portland, Ark.: Two counts Trafficking for Commercial Sex Acts, one count Felony Possession of Methamphetamine; $30,000 bond
  • Patrick Watt (DOB: 1/12/67), Memphis: One count Trafficking for Commercial Sex Acts; $15,000 bond
  • Anthony Wolfe (DOB: 10/19/69), Horn Lake, Miss.: One count Trafficking for Commercial Sex Acts; $15,000 bond

The arrests also resulted in six weapons and nine vehicles being seized as well as thousands of dollars in cash and illicit drugs.

Part of the operation also focused on identifying potential victims of human trafficking.  As a result, several women were referred to RestoreCorps for services.

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