Two men were arrested in Tuscaloosa this weekend for suspected human trafficking, according to a Tuesday release from the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force.

A joint investigation was conducted by the WAHTTF and the Tuscaloosa Police Department's Cyber Crimes division, the federal Homeland Security Investigations department and the East Metro Area Crime Center involving a two-night reverse undercover operation targeting commercial sex trade on July 30-31.

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Captain Phil Simpson, the commander of the task force, said in addition to the two arrests, the sting led to the identification of five potential victims of human trafficking.

Johntrell Brantley, 41, of Ruston, Louisiana, and Manchez Crumblem, 31, of LeGrange, Georgia, were both arrested and charged with promoting prostitution. At the time of publication, mugshots were not available.

They are currently being held in the Tuscaloosa County Jail with additional state and/or federal charges expected.

“Our partnerships with other state and federal law enforcement and social service agencies strengthen our ability to identify and combat human trafficking,” Simpson said. “Our goal is to stop traffickers who prey on and exploit others, while providing a way out for victims who may have nowhere else to turn.”

Five potential trafficking victims were identified from Georgia, Tennessee and Louisiana. They were offered counseling and services by Trafficking Hope and the Tuscaloosa SAFE Center. One victim requested treatment and was transported to a shelter.

For more information as it develops, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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