Air Force military, civilians charged in child exploitation investigation

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Investigators have arrested 11 people connected to child exploitation through social media and networking sites.

During the investigation, called Operation Broken Heart, Lowndes County agents worked with United States Air Force federal agents at Moody Air Force Base to target military and civilians associated with Moody A.F.B.

Agents posted ads on various social media or web sites presenting themselves as an underage teenager seeking friendship.

In each instance the conversation between a "14-year-old" and the suspect attempted to develop a relationship by making overtures for a meeting, often requesting photographs and the promise of "having fun."

However, some blatantly mentioned sexual activity as a possibility of the meeting.

Kirk Jackson, William Taylor II, Todd Buckham, Winston Casady, Wallace Gaskins, Ashton Tyus, Raymond Taylor, James Coleman, Benjamin Reedy, Casey Ellis, Corey Williams were charged with obscene internet contact, internet pornography, and other charges.

Lowndes County Sheriff Prine said the posts were made on "common social networking sites" with chat rooms that both teens and adults could access.

After the arrests, officials urged parents to get involved with their kids and what they do while at home, reminding them to monitor activity on smartphones, media devices, tablets, and computers.

Anyone with information on any of the people charged is urged to call the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office at (229) 671-2950; anonymous tips can be provided at (229) 671-2985.

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