LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - If you're preparing to give a young child a laptop or tablet for Christmas, the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office has a reminder for you.
The sheriff's office just concluded an eight month child sex sting operation in which 11 people were busted for trying to connect with young children online in hopes of being able to meet them for sex.
The sheriff's office said this should be a reminder to parents to be extra vigilant about their children's activity online.
"We're gonna continue to do what we can to combat crime, especially somethin' that affects our children like this," said Lowndes County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Stryde Jones. "Parents need to be aware of what their children are doin'. Monitor those devices and know what sites they're checking and who they're talking with."
Federal agents at Moody Air Force Base also assisted the sheriff's office in the sting operation.
The operation, called "Operation Broken Heart", targeted civilians and military personnel connected to Moody, but Jones didn't want to specify Friday why they specifically targeted people with connections to the base.
"Some of these people [arrested] actually employ on base, others were retired military and had access to the base. Some of 'em were active duty military," Jones explained."
As of Friday, all eleven men were facing charges of obscene internet contact and child exploitation. "It's very alarming that we would be able to arrest eleven people right here in the Lowndes County community for this type of crime...anything we can do to stand in the way and be safe with the children, that's what we wanna do," Jones said.
Jones added that if convicted of the crimes, whether the men would be required to register as sex offenders would depend on their sentencing, which would be facilitated through the District Attorney's office.