SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WHNT) – Eight men were arrested following a two-day undercover operation by the Tennessee Bureau of investigation aimed at addressing human trafficking in East Tennessee.

TBI officials said starting April 21st special agents placed decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases. They added the focus of the investigation was to find people looking to engage in sex acts with minors.

The eight men were from several different states and were between the ages of 27 and 66-years-old.

The men arrested were:

  • Carl Joseph Cantrell, 33, Dandridge, TN: one count of solicitation of a minor
  • Benjamin Jason Holt, 44, Newport, TN: one count of solicitation of a minor
  • Eric Burse Griffith, Robbins, 40, TN: one count of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means
  • Denis Tyulkin, 45, Ravenna, OH: one count of solicitation of a minor
  • Tyler Ryan Arrington, 29, Lebanon, VA: one count of solicitation of a minor
  • Raul Pedro, 27, Knoxville, TN: one count of solicitation of a minor
  • Kevin Leroy Baer, 66, Westminster, MD: one count of solicitation of a minor
  • Ivan Kale Freeman, 30, Knoxville, TN: one count of solicitation of a minor

All eight men were taken to the Sevier County Jail.

Several law enforcement agencies took part in the undercover operation including, the office of the 4th Judicial District attorney General James Dunn, the Sevierville Police Department, the Pigeon Forge Police Department, the Gatlinburg Police Department and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes Unit.