NASHVILLE – The investigation into a human trafficking ring in Middle Tennessee continues following the arrest of a Murfreesboro woman and the identification of at least a dozen victims.
This fall, TBI special agents assigned to the Bureau’s Human Trafficking Unit developed information about a woman named “Yibi,” who was later identified as Yilibeth Rivero De Caldera (DOB 6-2-1973), of Murfreesboro, who was allegedly trafficking female Hispanic immigrants in Nashville for commercial sex. Agents subsequently learned De Caldera provided financial assistance for women from Central and South America to get to the United States, then levied the victims with a large debt and forced them to engage in commercial sex acts at local hotels to pay back the debt.
On Thursday, after further investigation, TBI’s Human Trafficking Unit, with the partnership of the Tennessee Human Trafficking Task Force, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department, Murfreesboro Police Department, FBI, HSI, as well as the 16th and 20th Judicial District Attorneys General Offices, conducted an operation to gather evidence related to the case and rescue victims. As a result of the effort, authorities identified more than a dozen victims and offered them resources through partner nonprofits Ancora TN, Rescue One Global, Thistle Farms, and Catholic Charities. Seven of the women accepted services.
Authorities arrested De Caldera in Rutherford County and later transferred her to Davidson County on warrants charging her with nine counts of Trafficking for a Commercial Sex Act. Authorities subsequently booked her into the Davidson County Jail, where, at the time of this release, she was being held on $900,000 bond.
The investigation into this trafficking enterprise continues, with the potential for additional arrests, charges, and victim identifications. Anyone with information about De Caldera or this criminal enterprise should contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. Any victims who may need assistance should contact the Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-558-6484.
For more information on human trafficking, the warning signs, and Tennessee’s response to the crime, visit http://www.ITHasToStop.com.