Memphis Area Transit Authority CEO Ron Garrison resigned from MATA abruptly Thursday, Jan. 26, because he was busted on a misdemeanor prostitution charge earlier in the week.
Garrison was one of 42 people arrested and charged in a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation human trafficking sting over a three-day period.
Garrison is charged with patronizing prostitution near a church or school, and TBI spokesman Josh Devine said Garrison is accused of trying to have sex with an adult.
Devine said the TBI wouldn’t confirm or deny that the Ron Garrison they busted is the leader of MATA. However, MATA later confirmed its former CEO was the Ron Garrison charged in the sting operation.
TBI Director Mark Gwyn said the sting operation was aimed at child sex trafficking specifically and human sex trafficking generally through ads posted on the website Back Page. The undercover operation posted four ads a day on the site for 7 hours a day and drew responses from 475 different men.
TBI agents posed as underage girls when eight men allegedly paid to have sex with an underage female.