Six men arrested, charged in TBI human trafficking undercover operation in Monroe County


(Photos: TBI)

SWEETWATER, Tenn. (WATE) — Six men have been arrested following an undercover operation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Human Trafficking Unit and other agencies. The bureau says the East Tennessee men were seeking illicit sex with minors.

The TBI says during a two-day period beginning May 26 authorities placed several decoy advertisements known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases.

As a result of the operation, authorities arrested the following men and booked them into the Monroe County Jail:

  • Matthew Jason Cohen, 42, Maryville: trafficking for a commercial sex act
  • Steven Lawrence Kobylski, 33, Decatur: soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor
  • James Stephen Stinnett, 37, Madisonville: trafficking for a commercial sex act
  • Anthony Cornelius Baylis, 37, Harriman: trafficking for a commercial sex act
  • Joshua James Thomas, 32, Tellico Plains: trafficking for a commercial sex act
  • Pedro Juan Berenguer Torres, 50, Powell: trafficking for a commercial sex act

The TBI was also assisted by the Sweetwater Police Department, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the 10th Judicial District Drug & Violent Crime Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, and the office of 10th District Attorney General Steve Crump.

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