TBI Says Mexican Cartels Working in Tennessee

According to a Wednesday report, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) says dangerous Mexican Cartels are actively operating in Tennessee. 

“There are two primary cartels that we have found very connected to almost everything we do,” TBI Director David Rausch reportedly said. “That is the Sinaloa Cartel out of Mexico and the new Jalisco Cartel. Both of them are actively, very engaged in operations in Tennessee and we are working closely with our friends at the DEA on addressing that head on.”

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TBI Makes Arrest in Medicaid Fraud Case

 A man who is accused of abusing the Tennessee Medicaid system is now in custody, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

“An investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Medicaid Fraud Control Division into fraudulent TennCare time sheets has resulted in the arrest of a TennCare recipient in Bethel Springs,” TBI said.

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Shelbyville Caregiver Charged for Abusing, Neglecting Elderly Patients at Assisted Living Facility in Bedford County

As a result of an investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Medicaid Fraud Control Division and many other agencies, a Shelbyville man has been charged with the abuse and neglect of elderly patients.

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Blackburn Hammers Biden on Border Security

A U.S. Senator from Tennessee spent much of the day Monday and Tuesday blasting President Joe Biden’s administration for its lack of interest in border security. 

“At least 98 potential terrorists exploited Joe Biden’s open border in the last year. This is a dire national security crisis,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). 

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Gov. Lee Touts Violent Crime Intervention Fund on Fox News

As part of a wave of new crime prevention and response strategies in Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee (R) joined Fox News to tout his new Violent Crime Intervention Fund.

“We have a crime problem in this country, there’s no doubt about it, and Tennessee hasn’t escaped that problem,” Lee told former host and former U.S. Congressman Trey Gowdy on the channel’s “Sunday Night in America.”

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Applications Open for TBI Forensic Analysts in Jackson County

After a wave of violent crime in Memphis and questions about the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s (TBI) turnaround time for rape kits, TBI in Jackson has officially opened the application period to hire forensic analysts. 

“Combine your science smarts and passion to serve on our team in the Jackson Crime Laboratory! We’re looking for new forensic scientists to help us grow! The application window closes Wednesday!” TBI said on Twitter, attaching a link to the job application. 

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Gov. Lee Announces $100 Million Violent Crime Intervention Fund

Tennessee’s governor Tuesday announced that the state would give local law enforcement $100 million to fight violent crime.

“As Americans face rising crime nationwide, TN is launching the $100 million Violent Crime Intervention Fund to equip local law enforcement with tools to keep every community safe,” said Gov. Bill Lee (R) on Twitter. “I invite all TN police departments & sheriff’s offices to apply today.”

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Tennessee Hiring 25 More Forensic Analysts to Address Rape Kit Backlog

The governor of Tennessee has announced that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TB) will hire 25 new forensic analysts in order to assist with processing Sexual Assault Kits (SAKs). 

“Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally and Speaker Cameron Sexton announced a decisive step to accelerate the hiring process for 25 additional forensic lab positions at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI),” said a press release from the governor’s office. “Taking this action ahead of the regular budget process will expedite the TBI’s efforts to expand testing capacity and reduce the turnaround time for sexual assault kits (SAKs).”

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Autopsy Reveals Eliza Fletcher Died from Gunshot Wound to the Head

An autopsy has revealed the cause of death of a Memphis woman, who was abducted in September while jogging. 

“Eliza Fletcher, 34, had a gunshot wound to the back of her head, blunt-force injuries to a leg and jaw fractures, according to an autopsy completed by the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis,” according to Fox News. 

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Eliza Fletcher Murder Suspect Charged with Kidnapping, Rape in Unrelated Case

New details have emerged about more alleged crimes committed by the suspect in Eliza Fletcher’s brutal kidnapping and murder. 

Cleotha Abston has been charged separately in an aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping case stemming from September of 2021. He is also charged in that case with unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon.

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Looking to Fill 39 Open Positions

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) recently announced that it is searching for interested and qualified candidates to fill 39 open positions in the department. TBI is currently looking to fill 3 TBI Police Officer positions in Davidson County as well as 36 TBI Special Agent/Criminal Investigator positions in multiple counties.

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Exclusive: Sen. Blackburn Discusses Fentanyl Crisis with TBI Special Agent

A U.S. senator from Tennessee sat down for a wide-ranging interview with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Drug Task Force Director to expose America’s deadly fentanyl crisis that is getting worse by the day.

“Thousands of people are on the march toward our southern border as we speak. What do they want? Biden’s welcome package – free phone, free plane ticket, and free baby formula,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “We know that among that group, drug dealers and smugglers are bringing across deadly amounts of fentanyl. I spoke with TBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Farmer to expose how this crisis is devastating our communities.”

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Co-Hosts Active Shooter Response Training Seminar

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Tuesday hosted an event to teach citizens how to respond in the event that they encounter a mass shooter. 

“TBI is partnering with other sponsors in presenting this event to offer attendees information on how to increase emergency preparedness, understand critical response, and implement actions that increase survivability,” the law enforcement agency said on its Facebook page. “A TBI special agent will be among the panelists available following the seminar to answer questions.”

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Regional Blue Alert Shooting Suspects No Longer at Large; Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Addresses Concerns About Duplicate Cellphone Alerts

Wednesday morning, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) addressed reports of some Tennesseans receiving duplicate Blue Alerts on their mobile devices in the overnight hours for two separate officer-involved shooting suspects.

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Human Trafficking Operation in Sevier County Results in Eight Arrests

A two-day undercover, multi-agency human trafficking operation resulted in the arrest of eight men accused of seeking illicit sex from minors in Sevier County, according to a press release by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

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Ocoee Whitewater Center, a Historic Olympic Site in Polk County, Deemed ‘Total Loss’ After Early Morning Fire

Early Tuesday morning, the Ocoee Whitewater Center in Polk County caught fire and was destroyed, according to a Facebook post by The Cherokee National Forest. Although the building is a “complete loss,” no one was injured in the fire, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

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Undercover Operation Leads to Arrest of Two Dozen Individuals, Capture of Narcotics, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Says

An undercover law enforcement operation between the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and other local partner agencies led to the arrest of 24 individuals.

In addition to the arrest, authorities seized a wide-ranging variety of potentially lethal narcotics, including methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and prescription pills.

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Two-Year Drug Investigation Results in 39 Indictments Across Multiple States

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) announced 39 indictments were made in an ongoing drug investigation. The statement said undercover officers had followed a violent drug trafficking organization with ties to at least three states. 

“This operation is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when agencies work together,” said TBI Director David Rausch. “These dangerous drugs and the violence fueled by those dealing them is having a devastating impact on Knoxville and other areas in East Tennessee. That’s why we have a lot more work to do and will continue to target drug traffickers in our state.”

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Arrests Bristol Man Who Shot, Injured Police Officer

Cop car lights

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) charged a Bristol man, Alan Coulter, with two counts of Attempted First Degree Murder for his role in a shooting that injured a police officer with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.

In addition to the charges of Attempted First Degree Murder, Coulter faces one count of Reckless Endangerment, one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and one count of Use of a Weapon During the Commission of a Dangerous Felony.

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Former Tennessee Clinic Owner Sentenced for Opioid Distribution

Close up of white pills

The Department of Justice announced last week a former Tennessee clinic owner was sentenced for opioid distribution. Mark Daniel Allen, who now lives in Venice, Florida, was sentenced to 168 months in prison and $700 in special assessments, “followed by three years of supervised released.”

According to court documents, Allen was found guilty on six counts of “unlawfully distributing controlled substances” and one count of “maintaining a drug-involved premises after a three-day trial” which started September 1, 2021. Evidence at the trial showed Allen unlawfully prescribed 15,000 opioid pills to three women “with whom he had sexual relationships,” and to a male patient who later passed away.

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New Bill Introduced Classifies Weaponizing Finances as Domestic Violence

A new bill proposed this week would classify weaponizing finances as domestic assault. It would be an amendment of the current Tennessee Code Annotated Title 36, Chapter 3, Part 6, relative to domestic abuse. Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) sponsored the bill. 

The bill, if approved, would add to the current definition of domestic violence.

“Abuse” means inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on an adult or minor by other than accidental means; placing an adult or minor in fear of physical harm; physical restraint; malicious damage to the personal property of the abused party, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by an adult or minor; placing an adult or minor in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the adult or minor; or controlling, regulating, monitoring, or depleting the finances, economic resources, credit, or ability to work or pursue education or job training of an adult.

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Governor Lee Urge Tennesseans to Learn How to Identify Human Trafficking

On Tuesday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation marked National Human Trafficking Awareness Day by urging Tennesseans to educate themselves on how to identify human trafficking and support those who have been impacted by it.

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California Woman Caught Allegedly Stealing from Tennessee Library, Tennessee Comptroller Says

The Tennessee Comptroller Office released a statement last week alleging a California woman was stealing money from a Tennessee Library.  The state’s comptroller’s audit determined that Shekinah Edwards stole $32,366.89 from the Elma Ross Public Library in Haywood County by issuing fraudulent checks addressed to herself. The allegations were referred to a Haywood County Grand Jury, who returned an indictment in November against Edwards of one count of theft of over $10,000.

From May 22, 2020, through July 10, 2020, the Comptroller’s office alleges, Edwards issued herself 14 checks with the forged signatures of the library officials. The fraudulent checks were discovered in July 2020, when the library director was reconciling the library’s bank account and realized the font on the checks was not the same as the checks routinely issued by the library.

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Metro Nashville Police Department Officer Kills Suspect in Shootout

Wednesday night a Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) officer killed a suspect after a brief shootout. 

“Fatal police shooting under investigation on Old Hickory Blvd W in Madison. Citizens called to report this abandoned Impala in the traffic lane with doors open & the sounds of gunfire from nearby woods. Officers repeatedly ordered the gunman to emerge & surrender…” MNPD said on Twitter. 

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Tennessee Season to Remember Ceremony Will Be Virtual Again This Year

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) announced in a press release its 19th annual Season to Remember ceremony will be held virtually this year. The ceremony, which is held to honor victims and survivors of homicide, will be streamed on the First Baptist Church’s YouTube page on December 2 at 5:30 PM.

The TBI said “Holidays can be a difficult time for families missing their loved ones, and particularly for victims and survivors of homicide. That’s why federal, state, and local public safety officials have hosted “Tennessee Season to Remember” every year since 2003 to honor and remember victims and survivors of homicide.”

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TBI Sting Nets a Dozen Alleged Human Traffickers in Chattanooga

Eleven men were arrested in Chattanooga this week for seeking illicit sex from minors, and one woman was charged with promoting prostitution.

The arrests were made during a two-day undercover Human Trafficking Operation run by Chattanooga Police, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Homeland Security Investigations, and the Tennessee Human Trafficking Task Force.

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Requests $59M Increase in Next Year’s Budget

Gov. Bill Lee

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation requested a $59 million budget increase in its budget hearing this week with Gov. Bill Lee and advisers.

The request includes $24.9 million for a career path initiative that will assist with recruitment and retention of staff, an issue many government agencies cited in hearings this week.

TBI’s proposal also included requests for $11.7 million for one-time training and equipment and $10.2 million to hire forensic services positions, including $5.65 million in recurring expenses and $4.5 million in one-time expenses.

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Meets to Discuss the Danger of Fake Prescription Medication

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) met Monday morning to discuss the dangers of drug addiction and counterfeit medication. Director David Rausch said in the meeting, “let me be clear, if you’re buying pills on the street, in our state, you’re gambling.” Rausch gave a presentation showing examples of drugs like oxycodone, and compared them to the fake pills that people have been dying from. Most fake prescription pills contain fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. In 2017, fentanyl had attributed to 59 percent of drug overdose deaths. In 2019, Tennessee lost over two thousand people to drug overdoses, and of those over a thousand were fentanyl related. 

Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Commissioner Marie Williams said, “Our state doesn’t just have a counterfeit pill problem, or an opioid problem, or a methamphetamine problem, we have an addiction problem. Just like every other state in this country.”

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Annual ‘Crime in Tennessee’ Publication Says COVID-19 Affected Crime Numbers

David Rausch TBI

Members of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) this week released the agency’s 2020 Crime in Tennessee publication, which reported that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the state’s crime numbers. The publication details the volume and nature of crime, as reported by Tennessee’s law enforcement agencies, according to a TBI press release.

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Gov. Bill Lee Launches New Partnership to Combat Human Trafficking

The State of Tennessee is partnering with multiple organizations to help combat human trafficking, Governor Bill Lee announced on Thursday.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s project, ItHasToStop.com, this form of modern-day slavery is one of the fastest growing crimes throughout the state and country as a whole. Further, cases of human trafficking have been reported in every county in Tennessee.

“I’m excited to invest in and partner with these remarkable organizations that are at the forefront of this important fight. Human trafficking has no place in our state, and I’m proud to support our law enforcement and non-profit partners,” Governor Lee said.

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Marsha Blackburn: Joe Biden’s Border Policies Endangering Tennesseans

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) this week said “Tennesseans are facing a stark new reality: when our border isn’t secure, every town becomes a border town and every state a border state.” Blackburn said this in an emailed statement that her staff distributed to the media.

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Memphis Mass Shooter Dead from Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound After Being Located by Police

A man wanted in the mass shooting five people, three of them fatally, in Memphis on March 26 took his own life after being located by police in Nashville Thursday.

“Authorities on scene say the U.S. Marshals tracked a wanted fugitive out of Memphis to the [La Quinta] motel,” according to WKRN. 

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Evelyn Boswell’s Law on Its Way to Passage by General Assembly

Parents must report children in their charge missing within 24 hours, according to legislation being considered by the General Assembly. The newly-proposed bill, “Evelyn Boswell’s Law,” was compelled by the local murder case of Evelyn Boswell. The 15-month-old girl was never reported missing by her mother.

The case gained national attention in mid-February last year, days after Boswell’s grandfather first reported her missing, which led to a massive search for Boswell. The last confirmed sighting of Boswell had been in December, nearly two months earlier. In early March, just weeks after reporting her missing, Boswell’s grandfather discovered her remains on a family property in Blountville, Tennessee.

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MTSU Students Charged After Allegedly Stealing $114k from Student Groups

Two students at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) have been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 from the school over a period of several years. 

“Mohamed Osman and Mohamed Gure were presidents of MTSU’s Somali Students Association, according to investigators,” WKRN said. “During their time in office, the Comptroller’s Office said they submitted at least 85 false invoices to MTSU, many of which were for non-existent vendors, to obtain reimbursements totaling $82,200 in student activity fee funds.”

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TBI Investigates Police-Involved Shooting in Nashville of Suspect Who Allegedly Rammed Several Patrol Vehicles

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into an officer-involved shooting Wednesday of a suspect who allegedly rammed several police cars in north Nashville.

The TBI on Wednesday tweeted, “HAPPENING NOW: TBI Agents are investigating a reported officer-involved shooting in Nashville, at a location in the 2200 block of Brick Church Pike.”

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Rep. London Lamar Files Bill To Investigate Tennesseans Participating in January 6 Events in DC and Remove Elected Officials from Office

Rep. London Lamar (D-Memphis) filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session beginning Tuesday that calls for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to investigate Tennesseans suspected of participating in seditious or treasonous acts at the federal Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, and clarifies that such acts committed by state elected officials constitutes their removal from office.

The proposed legislation was filed Friday, after Lamar took to her state representative Facebook page the day prior in a post titled “The Line Has Been Drawn” which accused President Trump and his supporters of engaging in acts of sedition and treason to promote white supremacy.

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Reports of Cyber Crimes Against Tennessee Children Spiked During Pandemic Shutdown

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has received more than 450 tips of cyber crimes against children this year, TBI Director David Rausch said.

The bureau received 122 tips of cyber crimes against children in March, which was three times the number of tips received in January.

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Authorities Investigating Fatal Memorial Day Shooting, Eighth Officer-Involved Shooting This Month

Tennessee authorities announced Tuesday that they are investigating a Memorial Day shooting that resulted in the death of a Washington County man.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report around 11:40 p.m. of a male subject threatening to harm himself and a relative at home. Deputies arrived at the scene and encountered Gary Dorton on the front porch, armed with a large knife.

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Tennessee Authorities Investigating String of Five Officer-Involved Shootings, Including Off-Duty Officer

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has opened investigations into five different officer-involved shootings in the last nine days, including the shooting of an off-duty Metro Nashville officer.

According to a statement from the Metro Nashville Police Department, Officer Darrell Osment was “inexplicably” shot in the back “without warning or provocation” while walking his dog Thursday night. Osment said he was in plain clothes when he encountered a man he did not know on the street.

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Tennessee Police Chief Arrested for Alleged Financial and Sexual Misconduct

  Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained an indictment for a former police chief accused of misconduct and sexual impropriety. This week the Monroe County Grand Jury returned an indictment against former Tellico Plains police chief James Russell Parks, Jr., according to a TBI press release. Officials…

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Gets Indictments for Decatur Police Officer Charged with Wrongdoing

Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments for a former Decatur police officer accused of misconduct on duty, according a TBI press release this week. TBI agents began to investigate an alleged incident in December involving Eobard Thawne while he served as a Decatur police officer. TBI…

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Eve Thomas Sworn In As Knoxville Police Department’s First Female Chief

Eve Thomas

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero has promoted Deputy Chief Eve Thomas to become Knoxville’s first-ever female police chief, WBIR reported. Thomas was sworn in Thursday and succeeds Chief David Rausch as he becomes director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Monday, June 25. Rausch is taking over the TBI after…

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Lawmakers Call For Acting TBI Director to Resign Over Alleged Affair With High-Ranking State Employee at Taxpayer Expense

TBI Chief

The acting director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is on paid leave and under investigation for an alleged affair at taxpayer expense, and some legislative leaders have called for his resignation, various media outlets reported. Acting Director Jason Locke will be off the job starting Wednesday, June 20, WKRN…

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Twenty-Two Men, Half Now in ICE Custody, Indicted in Brentwood Human Trafficking Sting

Human Trafficking

Twenty-two men, half of whom are now in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), have been indicted in an undercover human trafficking sting in Brentwood. The operation was carried out by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the Brentwood Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations and the office of…

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Metro Nashville School Nurses Receive No Formal Training On Female Genital Mutilation

Tennessee Star

Metro Nashville school nurses have not received formal training on how to spot potential cases of female genital mutilation despite state lawmakers drawing attention to FGM with legislation in 2012. The 2012 law requires health care providers to report injuries related to FGM, a brutal practice in parts of Africa, the…

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Elizabeth Thomas, ‘Healthy and Unharmed,’ Soon To Return To Middle Tennessee

Tennessee Star

  NASHVILLE, Tennessee–Elizabeth Thomas will soon be on her way home back to Middle Tennessee, authorities said at a press conference Thursday afternoon at Tennessee Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Nashville. The 15-year-old Maury County girl was found Thursday morning in a remote area in Northern California along with her…

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