31 arrested in GA during child exploitation sting

Valdosta VET Arrested

DECATUR, GA (WALB) - A total of 82 people were arrested, and 17 children were rescued or identified as victims during a mutually coordinated operation between eight southeastern states, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Friday.

Operation Southern Impact III was coordinated by 10 Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces and focused on people who possess and distribute child pornography and those who are sexually exploiting children in other ways using technology and the internet.

Operation Southern Impact III culminated in three days of investigative actions to include search warrant executions, undercover operations, arrests and sex offender compliance verification visits in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

A total of 171 law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies participated in the operation.

Those arrested ranged in age from 20 to 70.

In Georgia, 31 people were arrested for possession and/or distribution of child pornography. While investigators regularly target the trading of all types of child pornography, in Operation Southern Impact III investigators targeted those seeking out and distributing the most violent sexual abuse material involving infants and toddlers. The possession, distribution and production of these horrific images is not uncommon.

Those in custody and charged in Georgia as part of Operation Southern Impact III are:

  • James Barfield IV, 51, Atlanta, GA, home improvement store employee
  • Dillan M. Bell, 26, Allenhurst, GA, unemployed
  • Gerald Chamberlain, 34, Rome, GA, golf course maintenance worker
  • Carol Chellew, 56, Jefferson, GA, county employee
  • Doug Chellew, 56, Jefferson, GA, department store employee
  • Timothy Wayne Diggs, 39, Metter, GA, information technology specialist
  • Keith James Diver, 37, Norcross, GA, restaurant employee
  • Erick Noe Gonzalez, 26, Buford, GA, landscaper
  • Erik Gordon, 30, Morrow, GA, shipping company employee
  • Desmond Lemond Hasley, 27, Douglasville, GA, staffing company employee
  • Keidron Jayquan Isham, 23, Rome, GA, unemployed
  • Claude Martin Johnson IV, 21, Augusta, GA, unemployed
  • Andrew Kim, 30, Suwanee, GA, business owner
  • Jordan Logan, 33, Grovetown, GA, painter
  • Jonathan Craig Manning, 28, Rome, GA, railroad worker
  • Andrew J. Martz, 30, Tyrone, GA, student
  • Matthew James McDurmond, 26, Cedartown, unknown
  • Terry Menard, 61, Roswell, GA, multimedia designer
  • Daniel Joseph Mullinax, 35, Auburn, GA, unemployed
  • Justin Lee Myers, 22, Cleveland, GA, unknown
  • Andrew Benjamin Nelson, 42, Marietta, GA, construction worker
  • Michael David Quinn, 44, Roswell, GA, unknown
  • Matthew Steven Ramski, 37, Cumming, GA, graphic design artist
  • Arlen Lemuel Riddle, 46, Muscadine, AL, fireman
  • Malchijah Robinson, 40, Decatur, GA, unemployed
  • David Chris Sammons, 33, Eatonton, GA, factory worker
  • Omar S. Sanchez-Viera, 40, Jonesboro, GA, health supplement company employee
  • Chad Sitzwohl, 35, Dawsonville, GA, factory worker
  • Wille D. Slaughter, 33, Valdosta, GA, military veteran
  • Wan Yeung Tang, 45, Cumming, GA, dishwasher
  • Tyler Wooten, 21, Sharpsburg, GA, student

Slaughter, a Valdosta resident, was charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of children.

Willie Slaughter (Source: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office)
Willie Slaughter (Source: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office)

Seven of those arrested in Georgia traveled for the purpose of meeting and having sex with a minor. A goal of the operation was to arrest persons who communicate with children online and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex. Online child predators visit chat rooms and websites on the internet, find children, begin conversations with them, introduce sexual content and arrange a meeting with the children for the purpose of having sex, according to the GBI.

The children these predators target are both boys and girls, GBI officials said.

During the operation, four registered sex offenders were encountered and arrested in Georgia on charges related to child pornography. One of the registered sex offenders arrested during Operation Southern Impact III was initially arrested by the GBI during a similar operation in 2015.

The operation was a coordinated effort between the following local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies in Georgia:

  • Air Force Office of Special Investigations
  • Alpharetta Police Department
  • Americus Police Department
  • Athens-Clarke County Police Department
  • Atlanta Police Department
  • Baldwin County Sheriff's Office
  • Barrow County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bartow County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bibb County Sheriff’s Office
  • Burke County Sheriff’s Office
  • Camden County Sheriff’s Office
  • Candler County Sheriff’s Office
  • Carroll County Sheriff’s Office
  • Clayton County Police Department
  • Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
  • Cobb County Police Department
  • Colquitt County Sheriff's Office
  • Columbia County Sheriff’s Office
  • Coweta County Sheriff’s Office
  • Crawford County Sheriff's Office
  • Dawson County Sheriff’s Office
  • DeKalb County Police Department
  • DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office
  • Department of Community Supervision
  • Duluth Police Department
  • Effingham County Sheriff’s Office
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Floyd County Police Department
  • Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office
  • Ft. Valley Police Department
  • Georgia Bureau of Investigation
  • GA Fusion Center – GBI-GISAC
  • Glynn County Sheriff’s Office
  • Glynn County Police Department
  • Greene County Sheriff's Office
  • Gwinnett County Police Department
  • Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office
  • Habersham County Sheriff's Office
  • Hall County Sheriff’s Office
  • Haralson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Heard County Sheriff’s Office
  • Henry County Police Department
  • Henry County Sheriff's Office Hiram Police Department
  • Houston County Sheriff’s Office
  • Jefferson Police Department
  • Jesup Police Department
  • John’s Creek Police Department
  • Jones County Sheriff's Office
  • Liberty County Sheriff’s Office
  • Marietta Police Department
  • Lilburn Police Department
  • Long County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office
  • McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office
  • Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
  • Morgan County Sheriff's Office
  • Muscogee County Sheriff's Office
  • Newton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Paulding County Sheriff’s Office
  • Peach County Sheriff's Office
  • Polk County Police Department
  • Putnam County Sheriff’s Office
  • Richmond County Sheriff’s Office
  • Roswell Police Department
  • Sandy Springs Police Department
  • Savannah Police Department
  • Sumter County Sheriff’s Office
  • Suwanee Police Department
  • Thomas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Troup County Sheriff’s Office
  • Tyrone Police Department
  • United States Department of Homeland Security
  • United States Marshals Service
  • United States Secret Service
  • Walton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Wayne County Sheriff’s Office
  • Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office

Those arrested in Georgia were charged with crimes pursuant to O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.2, Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007, according to the GBI.

Additional charges are likely and other arrests will occur after analysis of seized digital devices.

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