Metro cops use confidential informants to target gay chat rooms and lure homosexual men into trading and selling drugs. This undercover operation changed the life of one man who may well be innocent.
By Matt Pulle
Despite its upscale name, the Stewarts Ferry Luxury Apartments are more like middle-class projects. Just one exit from the airport, east on I-40, the sprawling complex is crisscrossed by towering power lines that hover over shallow, manmade ponds and more than 600 units that all look the same. There are two pools, a large crystal-blue one near the leasing office and another with an unobstructed view of the interstate. The tiny, faded fountain that greets the complex's residents is dry.
On a late Friday night in May, Steve exits I-40. A computer programmer who can while away a night reading Scientific American, he had planned to relax after a hard week. But 90 minutes earlier, he spontaneously agreed to meet a blind date he found online. From the Internet photo, Steve expected someone like him: a young gay man with brown hair and tan skin, only with a trimmer, more athletic build. The man said he had just moved from Los Angeles to Nashville to write songs, and seemed a little more adventurous than the usually serious computer programmer.