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Along with the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center and the Glynn County Police Department, 18 additional law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices participated in “Operation Riptide” as members of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
These agencies were: the Alpharetta Police Department, the Atlanta Police Department, the Brunswick Police Department, the Clayton County Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, the De Kalb County Police Department, the Glynn County District Attorney’s Office, the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, the Mc Intosh County Sheriff’s Office, the Polk County Police Department, the Warner Robins Police Department, the Woodstock Police Department, the U. Secret Service, the FBI and 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,” Garner said.
“Our job as task force members is basically to protect our children and to keep these predators from getting access to our kids.”Investigators said they began planning the sting in January and arrested the men over the last week, the latest one on Monday morning. They traveled from areas around Brunswick and from North Florida with the intent to meet a child for sex, police said.
Some of their occupations include a Navy sailor, a pharmacy student, a commodities trader and a firefighter.
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, police said.
The children the predators target are both boys and girls.
- Eighteen men who thought they were going to meet children for sex in Glynn County instead met law enforcement officers, who arrested the men as part of sting targeting online predators.
The five-day child sex undercover operation was dubbed “Operation Riptide."The 18 men arrested are charged with computer or electronic pornography and child exploitation. The investigation was coordinated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Glynn County Police Department.“This type of thing is happening all over the country,” said GBI Special Agent in Charge Debbie Garner.
“This successful operation was a partnership between all the agencies involved.”The U. Secret Service polygraphed eight of those arrested during Operation Riptide.
All of those polygraphed gave admissions related to the offense for which they were arrested, police said.