A former NBA player who was a star at the University of Alabama has been arrested in Tennessee as part of a sting involving men allegedly seeking to have sex with minors.
Jim Farmer, who played for the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Seattle SuperSonics, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets during a 5-year NBA career, was among 16 men arrested by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, WTVF reported.
In late October, the TBI “placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to commercial sex,” the agency said in a statement.
“The focus of the operation was to identify individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors,” the statement said.
Officials arrested 16 men in Rutherford County, Tennessee after a two-day human trafficking operation, including former University of Alabama basketball player James “Jim” Farmer. https://t.co/ANOlQe0SJg
— WKRG (@WKRG) October 30, 2019
Authorities did not have to wait very long.
“Lo and behold, many of these men showed up to our operation and instead of wanting to have sex with a 16 year old, they were met with some of our toughest law enforcement officers,” Josh DeVine, communications director for the TBI, told The Associated Press.
According to an arrest affidavit, Farmer responded to the ad on Oct. 25 and was prepared to pay $170 for sex with a juvenile, the Nashville Tennessean reported.
Devine said human trafficking in Tennessee has become such an issue that four agents are dedicated to investigating cases.
“This is a crime that cuts across demographics,” DeVine said. “If you think you know who the buyers are, you would be incredibly surprised.”
The TBI released a composite image of all of those arrested.
— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) October 28, 2019
The 6-foot-4 Farmer , who now lives in Franklin, Tennessee, was a first-round pick in the 1987 NBA draft after being one of Alabama’s leading scorers.
After leaving the NBA, he had a career as a model. He also released one album as a country singer.
Farmer was released on $75,000 bail, according to NBC News.
He is due to appear in court on Nov. 13.
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