TBI arrests 2 city men in human trafficking probe

Published 9:43 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Two city men face multiple charges following a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation case involving human trafficking for prostitution in Carter County.

Agents of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested Robelio Enrique Flores-Rivera, 26, and Adan Orlando Vasquez-Rodriguez, 34, both of 1515 U.S. Highway 19E, on Monday. Agents charged Flores-Rivera with aggravated statutory rape, patronizing of prostitution of a minor, and solicitation of a minor. Agents charged Vasquez-Rodriguez with statutory rape, patronizing of prostitution of a minor, and solicitation of a minor.

The charges against them two men stem from an investigation by the TBI’s Human Trafficking Unit.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“On Sunday, the TBI received information from investigators with the Knoxville Police Department concerning a possible case of human trafficking involving juvenile females,” said a statement released by the TBI on Tuesday afternoon. “After developing more specific information about the exact location, TBI Special Agents, assisted by the Elizabethton Police Department, 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security, were able to determine the incident occurred at a motel along Highway 19E in Elizabethton.”

According to the TBI, the investigation revealed that on Saturday evening, Flores-Rivera and Vasquez-Rodriguez made contact with two females, ages 14 and 17, and offered them money in exchange for sex. Court documents allege that the sexual encounters took place and money was exchanged. According to the warrants, both alleged sexual encounters occurred at the Americourt Hotel in Elizabethton where both Rivera and Rodriguez were residing.

On Tuesday morning, both Rivera and Rodriguez appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court. Judge Keith Bowers Jr. scheduled the men to return to court on Friday, April 28, when the court could provide an interpreter.

Rivera and Rodriguez both remain held at the Carter County Detention Center under a $50,000 bond each.