WATE Channel 6 News: Undocumented Foreign National Arrested in West Knox County for Sex Trafficking

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A Tennessee Highway Patrol officer made a traffic stop on Interstate 40 that led to an arrest of a man with an order for deportation and the recovery of a 19-year-old who may be the victim of human sex trafficking.
Rafael E. Quiroz Martinez, 22, of Honduras, was arrested and his 19-year-old female passenger was taken to a safe location where family was contacted to pick her up.
Martinez was arrested after Trooper Jonathan Scott pulled over his 2007 Honda Fit for a tint violation. When the trooper approached his vehicle, he observed indicators of possible criminal activity. After questioning Martinez and the 19-year-old, the trooper noticed inconsistencies with their statements.
Trooper Scott received permission to search Martinez’s vehicle and called for back up. Troopers found $1,380 in cash, a ledger containing cities and dollar amounts, but no luggage, and a micro SD storage card. They also found hand-written cards approximately an inch in size, which displayed the words “LON TIME” and two phone numbers.
Both subjects were checked through the Blue Lighting Operations Center (BLOC) for U.S. Customs. Martinez was found to have an order of deportation from 2013. Homeland Security was called, along with a translator and a victim/witness coordinator.
Martinez was taken to Knox County Detention Facility where Homeland Security Investigations placed a detainer on him, pending federal prosecution for possible Human Sex Trafficking. The 19-year-old’s identity is being withheld for her safety.