Suspects of “Operation Spring Cleaning” targeting online child predators charged in Gwinnett County
Gwinnett County, GA – The Georgia Bureau of Investigations announced the arrest of 23 persons as a result of a proactive undercover investigation coordinated by the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit (CEACC), the Gwinnett County Police Department, the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, and the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office. These 23 men were arrested over a five day period beginning last week Thursday, April 20, 2017. Those arrested have been charged with O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.2, Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007. Officials say dditional charges could still follow.
“Operation Spring Cleaning” was a five day proactive effort, centered in Gwinnett County, that officials say took months of planning. Those arrested, ranging in age from 19 to 48, are accused of traveling from areas around metro Atlanta believing they would be meeting up with a child for sex. Those caught in the sting were from all walks of like some unemployed and others employed in a variety of different positions.
In a press release, the GBI report that the purpose of “Operation Spring Cleaning” was to arrest persons who communicate with children online and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex. It also targeted those who were willing to exploit children by purchasing sex with a minor. Bothe boys and girls are targeted in chat rooms where child predators are known to troll for children with the explicit purpose of targeting them for sex. Since 2014, the Georgia ICAC Task Force has arrested 77 people in similar operations.
GBI report that the following agencies also assisted in the sting.
- Alpharetta Police Department
- Atlanta Police Department
- Clayton County Police Department
- Columbus Police Department
- Coweta County Sheriff’s Office
- Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC)
- Glynn County Police Department
- Hall County Sheriff’s Office
- LaGrange Police Department
- Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office
- Marietta Police Department
- Polk County Police Department
- Woodstock Police Department
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Homeland Security Investigations
“this type of cooperation and collaboration is invaluable in the effort to keep our children safe from predators who seek to harm them,” said GBI Special Agent in Charge and Commander of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Debbie Garner. “This successful operation was a partnership amongst all the agencies involved. We will continue to aggressively work together to protect our children.”
The following were arrested and charged in Gwinnett County as part of “Operation Spring Cleaning.” Please note an arrest or charge does not constitute a conviction.
- Scott Robert Baxter, W/M, Tucker, GA, 34 years of age, retail employee
- Andrew Sean Carroll, W/M, Dacula, GA, 19 years of age, grounds maintenance
- Brian Dwayne Clark, W/M, Winder, GA, 41years of age, mechanic
- Alisha Gagguturu, I/M, Suwanee, GA, 23 years of age, unknown
- Connor Fionn Hale, W/M, Lawrenceville, GA, 23 years of age, unemployed
- Demetrius Deshawn Harper, B/M, Lawrenceville, GA, 22 years of age, automotive technician
- Joel Blake Jackson, W/M, from Braselton, GA, 22 years of age, gas station attendant
- Rasesh Jagtap, I/M, Alpharetta, GA, 33 years of age, information technology specialist
- Akshat Jasra, I/M, Alpharetta, GA, 35 years of age, software consultant
- David Kelley, B/M, College Park, GA, 22 years of age, model display builder
- Steven Anthony King, B/M, Clarksville, GA, 26 years of age, warehouse employee
- Horacio Mendoza, H/M, Lawrenceville, GA, 48 years of age, construction worker
- Andrew Ryan Murphy, W/M, Norcross, GA, 22 years of age, janitor
- Max Park, A/M, Suwanee, GA, 37 years of age, unemployed
- Edward Harold Ramsey, B/M, Wichita, KS, 24 years of age, USAF
- Melchior Simon, B/M, Duluth, GA, 28 years of age, unemployed
- Martinez-Torres Sixto , H/M, from Norcross, GA, 30 years of age, electrician
- Brett William Smith, Jr., W/M, 35 years of age, floor installer
- Zadok Smith, B/M, Duluth, GA, 27 years of age, furniture assembler
- James Evan Soggs, W/M, Sandy Springs, GA, 20 years of age, warehouse employee
- Adis Spahic, W/M, from Lawrenceville, GA, 40 years of age, warehouse manager
- Ertiza Talukder, I/M, Lawrenceville, GA, 23 years of age, hotel employee
- William David Warren, W/M, Winder, GA, 41 years of age, shop foreman
More about the Georgia ICAC Task Force
The Georgia ICAC Task Force is comprised of 200+ local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, other related criminal justice agencies and prosecutor’s offices. The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the U. S. Department of Justice and managed and operated by the GBI in Georgia, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention, and community education. The ICAC Program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims. By helping state and local law enforcement agencies develop effective and sustainable responses to online child victimization and child pornography, the ICAC program delivers national resources at the local level. Arrests made by the Georgia ICAC Task Force have been steadily increasing over the last 3 years. In 2014, the GA ICAC Task Force made 196 arrests. The Georgia ICAC Task Force made 244 arrests in 2015, and in 2016, the Georgia ICAC Task Force made 340 arrests. The Georgia ICAC Task Force has made over 2,000 arrests since its inception in 2002.
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