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Tennessee authorities used undercover agents and the Internet to bust nearly two dozen men on charges of soliciting sex from underage girls.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said 22 men are facing mostly felony charges for a bust in Brentwood that took place in early October.
TBI officials said two female agents posed as 14- and 16-year-old girls and offered sex on backpage.com. Authorities said the agents also told men in text and phone conversations that they were underage.
11 of the 22 people arrested are in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Another 9 have been arrested after the indictments were handed down from a Williamson County grand jury Monday, authorities said. Among those arrested were a computer programmer, automotive engineer, construction worker and chef, they said.
“This is, without doubt, a demand-driven crime, involving men from all kinds of backgrounds” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn in a news release.
TBI agents also contacted two women through backpage.com and met with them to investigate whether they were victims of human trafficking. Authorities said the two women they contacted declined services through a nonprofit agency.