TBI Marks Three-Year Anniversary of Summer Wells’ Disappearance with Video Update

Summer Wells

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) marked the three year anniversary of the disappearance of Summer Wells with a video update on the case. 

“We don’t have the evidence in this case to know for sure whether Summer was abducted or whether or not she walked away from her home and became lost,” said Josh Melton, the assistant director of TBI’s Criminal Investigation Division, in a video posted to X. “It’s really important for us to not focus all our attention on just one of those two.”

Read the full story

TBI Arrests 11 Convicted Felons for Allegedly Illegally Voting


The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) announced the arrests of 11 convicted felons for voting in local elections in 2020 and 2022, and said that four deceased felons also voted in those elections. 

“In late January, at the request of 18th Judicial District Attorney General Ray Whitley, TBI agents began investigating reports of 15 convicted felons unlawfully voting in various Sumner County elections between 2020 and 2022,” according to a TBI press release. “Agents determined four of the felons were deceased prior to the investigation. Agents investigated the remaining 11 individuals, determining all had been convicted of at least one felony and registered to vote in Sumner County after their convictions, completing documents that included language regarding not having been convicted of a felony.”

Read the full story

TBI’s ‘Operation Protecting Tomorrow’ Nets 12 Arrests of Child Predators

TBI Dir. David Rausch

A three month operation organized by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and executed with the help of nearly 20 local, state, and federal law enforcement partners has resulted in the arrests of 12 people on child sex crime charges. 

The operation, dubbed “Operation Protecting Tomorrow,” was designed to “identify and locate children who were victims of sextortion and online sexual exploitation, along with identifying and arresting individuals who aim to harm children online,” according to TBI.

Read the full story

One Memphis Police Officer Killed, Two Others Shot While Responding to Suspicious Vehicle Occupied by Known Criminal

Memphis Police Department

Reactions have poured in after Memphis police officer Joseph McKinney was shot and killed early Friday morning while he and other officers were responding to a suspicious vehicle call.

On Friday approximately 2:00 a.m., officers responded to a suspicious vehicle call at Horn Lake Road and Charter Avenue, according to the Memphis Police Department (MPD).

Read the full story

Domestic Violence Offender Registry Bill Moving Through Tennessee House

Sabi Kumar Talking

A bill that would create a domestic violence offender registry is moving through the Tennessee House of Representatives. 

“This bill creates within the Tennessee bureau of Investigation (TBI) a registry of persons who have been convicted of the offense of domestic assault. The TBI must maintain this registry based upon information supplied to TBI by the court clerks pursuant to this bill, and information available to the TBI from the department of correction and local law enforcement agencies. The TBI must make the registry available for public inquiry on the internet,” according to the summary of HB 2898.

Read the full story

Nashville Restaurant Where Shooter Killed One, Injured Several on Easter Closed Until Further Notice

Roasted Store

Roasted, the restaurant in the Salemtown neighborhood of Nashville where a gunman opened fire on Easter Sunday, killing one and injuring multiple others, announced Tuesday it is closed until further notice in the wake of the incident.

“As our team continues to process and heal we will be closed until further notice. We appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers for everyone involved in this tragic incident,” the restaurant wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

Read the full story

Man Wanted for Nashville Restaurant Shooting Had Extensive Criminal Record, Out on $50,000 Combined Bond

Anton Rucker

The man wanted by police for a shooting in a Nashville restaurant on Easter Sunday was out of jail on a combined $50,000 bond and has an extensive criminal past, according to court records.

Anton Rucker, 46, is suspected of injuring five and killing one person—Allen Beachem, 33—in a shooting at Roasted, a restaurant in the Salemtown neighborhood of Nashville. Rucker is now one of Tennessee’s most wanted, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in a post to X.

Read the full story

TBI Honors Legendary Special Agent Who Was ‘Addicted to Danger’ After He Passed Away Last Week

TBI Special Agent Maxey Gilleland

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Monday honored a special agent who was once described as being “addicted to danger,” after he passed away last week.

Special Agent Maxey Gilleland served the agency and the people of Tennessee for 31 years, until he retired in 2004. At age 19, before joining TBI, he entered the Marine Corps and was sent to fight in the Vietnam War. There, according to TBI, he earned several Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and the Navy Cross.

Read the full story

Exclusive: Two Individuals Arrested in Connection with ‘Multinational’ Human Trafficking Ring Are Illegal Aliens

Yilibeth Rivero De Caldera

Two men arrested in connection with a “multinational criminal organization linked to human trafficking” are illegal aliens, The Tennessee Star has learned. 

In the fall of 2023, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Human Trafficking Unit arrested Yilibeth Rivero De Caldera on nine counts of Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act. His victims, the agency said, were Central and South American female migrants who were forced into sex slavery to pay off debts owed to Rivero De Caldera in exchange for Rivero De Caldera smuggling them into the United States. 

Read the full story

Flags at Half Staff for Fallen Blount County Deputy, Suspect Taken into Custody After Manhunt

Greg McCowan

Gov. Bill Lee (R) Wednesday announced that the flag at the State Capitol will fly at half staff in honor of a fallen Blount County Sheriff’s Deputy who was killed in the line of duty. 

“Today, flags over the State Capitol will be lowered in remembrance of Deputy Greg McGowan, who laid down his life to protect & serve Tennesseans. Maria & I continue to lift his family & loved ones up in prayer,” Lee said on X, formerly Twitter. 

Read the full story

Tennessee State Senator Brent Taylor Urges TBI to Investigate, Arrest Pro-Palestine Protesters Who Blocked Traffic on I-40 in Memphis

Brent Taylor

Tennessee State Senator Brent Taylor (R-Memphis) joined Monday’s edition of The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy to discuss a letter he sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) regarding its response to a group of pro-Palestine protesters that blocked traffic in both directions on I-40 in Memphis over the weekend.

On Saturday, a group of pro-Palestine protesters commandeered the Mississippi River Bridge on I-40 in Memphis, shutting down traffic in both directions for nearly two hours and leaving motorists with no way to cross the Mississippi River as the I-55 river bridge was under construction.

Read the full story

Convicted Georgia Sex Offender Dead After Kidnapping Tennessee Girl, Ramming Police

Edward Aherns

A convicted sex offender from Georgia is dead after an encounter with Tennessee authorities during which he rammed several police cars, several sources have confirmed. 

Edward Ahrens was suspected of kidnapping an 11-year-old girl who was the subject of a Tennessee Endangered Child Alert, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). The missing child was identified as Aubriauna Mays. 

Read the full story

TBI Investigating Death of Shelby County Jail Inmate

Ramon McGhee

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is investigating the January 12 death of an inmate in the Shelby County Jail. 

“At the request of 30th Judicial District Attorney General Steve Mulroy, we were requested on January 10th to investigate a report that an inmate at the Shelby County Jail, Ramon McGhee (DOB: 02/19/1981) was found unresponsive, and was transported to a local hospital. On Friday, McGhee was declared dead,” TBI Public Information Officer Keli McAlister told The Tennessee Star Wednesday. “Our investigation remains active and ongoing. An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause of his death. Information regarding the autopsy is not something that would come from our office.”

Read the full story

Maury County Adult Caregiver Charged with Financial Exploitation of Elderly Patients

Woman Suspect

A adult caregiver in Maury County has been arrested for allegedly draining the bank accounts of her home care patients, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). 

“In June 2023, after receiving referrals from Adult Protective Services, TBI agents initiated an investigation into an allegation that a caregiver for several home care patients in Maury County was using the victims’ debit cards to make fraudulent, personal charges on an online gambling site,” according to a TBI release. “The investigation identified Cynthia Dobbins as the caregiver responsible for the theft from the victims’ accounts.”

Read the full story

Tennessee Nurse Wanted for Negligent Homicide of Patient Arrested in Georgia

A Tennessee nurse who was wanted for negligent homicide in the death of a patient has been arrested in Tennessee after nearly nine months on the run, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). 

“After a referral from Adult Protective Services, TBI agents began investigating an allegation that in March 2022, a certified nurse aide who worked in a care facility in Clarksville failed to properly use a lift while attempting to move a patient,” TBI said in a news release. “As a result, that resident, Patricia Oliver, sustained a fall that caused her serious bodily injury, ultimately resulting in her death. The investigation identified Takesha Tucker as the nurse aide responsible for the incident.”

Read the full story

30 Years Later, TBI’s Most Wanted Prison Escapee Remains at Large

Robert Sanders

One of Tennessee’s most wanted fugitives, who escaped from prison in 1990, remains on the lam 30 years after being placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Most Wanted list.

Robert Houston Sanders, serving an 81-year sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery, escaped from the Tennessee State Prison on April 20, 1990 and disappeared. Sanders has been on TBI’s Most Wanted list since its inception in 1993. He is the only most wanted fugitive in the state with that distinction and is still considered “armed and dangerous.”

Read the full story

Lewis County Deputy Accused of Money Laundering, Theft After Allegedly Purchasing Police K9 for Personal Use

Brandon Grady

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), a Lewis County Sheriff’s Department (LCSD) deputy has been arrested for theft and money laundering related to the purchase of a police K9. 

“On September 13th, at the request of 32nd Judicial District Attorney General Hans Schwendimann, TBI special agents began investigating a complaint of theft against Lewis County Deputy Brandon Grady,” TBI said in a release. 

Read the full story

Yilbeth de Caldera of Murfreesboro Trafficked Illegal Immigrants from Central America, Forced Them Into Prostitution: TBI Alleges

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) reported Friday the arrest of Yilibeth “Yibi” Rivero De Caldera in Murfreesboro, who they claim trafficked at least a dozen women from Central and South America to Tennessee, where she then forced them to perform “commercial sex acts” to repay their debt.

A press release reveals authorities allege “De Caldera provided financial assistance” for her “female Hispanic immigrants,” but after they arrived in Tennessee, they claim she “levied the victims with a large debt and forced them to engage in commercial sex acts at local hostels to pay back the debt.”

Read the full story

First Tennessee Human Trafficking Report in Decade Shows Abuse of Minors Rose over 800 Percent in Five Years

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) released a new Human Trafficking Statistical Report last week, revealing a sharp increase in human trafficking of minors in Tennessee in a five-year period.

The report, which was the first of its kind released in more than a decade, revealed there were 518 minor sex trafficking reports by November 5, and the agency notes that reports of minor sex trafficking “dramatically increased from 66 in 2016 to over 600 by 2021,” which is an increase of 809 percent. Similar numbers were reported in 2022 and 2023.

Read the full story

Tennessee Violent Crime Rate Dropped as State Put More Criminals in Prison

The number of Tennessee citizens behind bars increased in 2022, coinciding with a drop in violent crime, according to data released this week by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and numbers tracked by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

Tennessee saw a 7.9 percent increase in the state’s prison population in 2023, according to the report. The new prisoners include 1,615 men and 125 women. Additionally, the DOJ data release notes that Tennessee is one of only four states that saw more than 1,500 new prisoners during 2022, joined by Texas, Florida, Mississippi.

Read the full story

TBI Joint Operation with Federal Law Enforcement Results in Locating 13 Child Victims of Human Trafficking

blonde girl outside

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) in conjunction with federal and local law enforcement completed an operation in Memphis to rescue 13 children who are suspected victims of human trafficking. 

Participating in the operation, which was called Operation Not for Sale, were the United States Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the Memphis Police Department’s Human Trafficking Task Force and Organized Crime Unit, and the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services’ Absconder Unit and Human Trafficking Response Team, according to a release. 

Read the full story

Tennessee Department of Children’s Services Highlights New Anti-Human Trafficking Unit

Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services (DCS) is highlighting a new anti-human trafficking team, which was formed as part of the state’s ongoing effort to combat the practice. 

“We’ve had over 500 reports since the beginning of the year,” Kate Greer, the Director of the Human Trafficking Response Team, which is part of DCS, reportedly said. 

Read the full story

TBI Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting in Nashville

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is investigating another officer-involved shooting this week, this time in Nashville. 

“At the request of 20th Judicial District Attorney General Glenn Funk, TBI special agents are investigating the circumstances leading to a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred Monday evening in Davidson County,” TBI said in a press release. 

Read the full story

Knox County Deputy ‘Seriously Wounded’ in Shootout, TBI Investigating

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is investigating after a fatal officer-involved shooting in Knox County Sunday night that left a deputy “seriously wounded.” 

“TBI special agents are investigating the circumstances surrounding a Sunday night fatal officer-involved shooting in Knox County, which also left a deputy seriously wounded,” TBI said on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

Read the full story

Commentary: Combating Adult and Child Sex Trafficking in Tennessee

Known for its warm hospitality, cultural heritage, and mountainous landscapes, Tennessee is confronted with the nationwide crisis that challenges the very essence of our values. It’s time to strip away the veneer of normalcy and address the stark truth: individuals, including children, are being subjected to unspeakable horrors. Their lives are manipulated and controlled, their dignity shattered, and their futures stolen. The reality of sex-trafficking is not confined to a single corner of our state; it is an issue that transcends geographical boundaries, urban and rural areas alike.

Read the full story

TBI Busts Alleged Human Traffickers in Blount County

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) busted seven men in connection with human trafficking, according to the agency’s website. 

“Over a two-day period beginning August 4th, as part of an undercover investigation aimed at addressing human trafficking in East Tennessee, authorities placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases,” according to TBI. “The focus of the operation was to identify individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors. As a result of the operation, authorities arrested seven men.”

Read the full story

TBI Officially Identifies, Charges Thwarted Memphis School Shooting Suspect

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) on Wednesday officially confirmed that the suspect in the attempted school shooting at Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South (MHA-FYOS) is Joel Bowman and that he has been charged with several crimes stemming from the incident.

“Today, agents secured and served Bowman with warrants, charging him with one count each of Carrying Weapons on School Property, Reckless Endangerment, Criminal Attempted Second-Degree Murder, Possessing a Firearm During the Commission or Attempt to Commit a Dangerous Felony, and Assault Against a First Responder. At the time of this release, he remained hospitalized in Memphis,” TBI said in a press release. 

Read the full story

Suspect in Thwarted Memphis School Shooting Identified as Former Student

A man who was shot Monday by Memphis Police after discharging a firearm into the Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South (MHA-FYOS) has been identified as a former student, according to a U.S. Congressman. 

“We have recently learned that the shooter at the Margolin Hebrew Academy was himself Jewish and a former student at the school,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) in a statement. “I am pleased the academy had effective security and that the police acted quickly to protect students.”

Read the full story

Tennessee Department of Health Engages in Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) will work with local leaders to support the Red Sand Project between July 25 and 31.

‘’Human trafficking is a hidden crime in our state and across the country because victims rarely come forward to receive help or services,’’ said Tennessee Health Commissioner Ralph Alvarado, MD, FACP. ‘’It’s up to all of us to bring an end to the exploitation of vulnerable individuals. The Red Sand Project reminds us how crucial it is for communities, both urban and rural, to engage in awareness and education activities that support survivors of human trafficking and strengthen our prevention efforts.”

Read the full story

TBI Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting That Killed Suspect Who Shot at Police

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said it is investigating the shooting of a suspect who fled during a traffic stop and ultimately ended up shooting and striking a police officer.

“Preliminary information indicates that just before midnight, an officer with the Selmer Police Department initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle observed speeding along Highway 64,” according to a TBI release. 

Read the full story

TBI Cracks 37 Year Old Cold Case with New DNA Technology

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Wednesday announced that it identified human remains from a cold case murder from 1986.

“On August 24, 1986, skeletal remains were discovered by hunters along an isolated and abandoned trail in the Caney Valley area of Claiborne County. TBI agents began working alongside the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office in investigating the death,” TBI said. “Forensic anthropologists determined that the skeletal remains were those of a white male, likely between the age of 30 and 40. The victim had been shot, and his death was ruled a homicide.”

Read the full story

TBI Investigating Multiple Hoax School Shooter Calls

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) announced Wednesday that it was investigating a series of hoax phone calls made to schools around the state alerting them to potential school shootings.

“DEVELOPING: TBI is currently working with state and federal partners to determine the source of several hoax calls, placed to local law enforcement agencies, reporting an active shooter at several high schools in the state,” TBI said Wednesday on Twitter.

Read the full story

TBI Aware of Viral Post from Trans Activist Demanding Violence Against Tennessee Law Enforcement

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Thursday confirmed to The Tennessee Star that it is aware of a viral video circulating the web in which a transgender activist encourages transgender people in Tennessee to commit acts of violence. 

“We are aware of the post, but don’t have any further information or insight to offer,” said TBI spokesman Josh DeVine. 

Read the full story