DECATUR, Ga. - A total of 76 people – some of them postal workers, pastors and daycare administrators – were arrested as part of a massive, multi-state child exploitation operation conducted across eight southern states, including Georgia.
In Georgia, 34 people were arrested and 13 children were rescued during Operation Southern Impact II, according to the GBI. Many of those arrests involved the possession and/or distribution of child pornography.
Officials said Operation Southern Impact II investigators targeted those seeking out and distributing the most violent child pornography involving infants and toddlers.
"People who see to harm our most vulnerable population will not be tolerated," said Nelly Miles with the GBI. "We mean business when it comes to these types of crimes against our children."
Six of those arrested in Georgia traveled for the purpose of meeting and having sex with a minor. There was one arrest involving sextortion, which involves subjects who obtain sexually explicit photos of minors and then threaten or blackmail the victim for additional obscene images or videos.
Eight registered sex offenders were also arrested in Georgia. At least one foster parent with young children was arrested.
MUGSHOTS | Operation Southern Impact II (story continues below gallery)
There were also searches conducted where guns and illegal drugs were discovered.
According to officials, Operation Southern Impact II began about four months ago and culminated in two days of search warrant executions, undercover operations, and arrests in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. More than 220 law enforcement and legal agencies participated, including almost every metro Atlanta police department and sheriff's office.
Those arrested ranged in age from 17 to 72. Some of their occupations included postal worker, non-profit employee, small business owner, store clerk, mechanic, daycare administrator, pastor, construction worker and magician. More than 1,200 digital devices such as cell phones and computers were seized.
In Georgia, the arrestees, ranged in age from 17 to 63. Some of their occupations included construction worker, truck driver, disc jockey, youth director, and a restaurant worker.
Here are the names of those arrested in Georgia:
- Wesley Bunker, 27, Rome, GA, retail store employee
- Tony Burton, 52, Lawrenceville, GA, unemployed
- Eric A. Burgess, 17, Suwannee, GA, student
- Jason R. Cash, 34, Monroe, GA, electrician
- Anthony L. Crane, 28, Cartersville, GA, construction worker
- Jeffery Declouet, 46, Suwannee, GA, IT support employee
- Mark D. Driver, 36, Fort Valley, GA, truck stop employee
- Kyam Forsyth, 25, Eatonton, GA, unemployed
- Bill E. Garner, 54, Resaca, GA, unemployed
- John Garrett, 62, Roswell, GA, former manager of commercial bus service
- John P. Hart, Jr., 34, Sandersville, GA, unemployed
- Aaron C. Helton, 36, Adairsville, GA, unknown
- Bryan E. Holloway, 45, Winston, GA, truck driver
- Mark Horn, 31, Dallas, GA, vocational training non-profit employee
- Gordon L. Ingebritsen, 53, Duluth, GA, unemployed
- Shawn M. Kemp, 31, Cedartown, GA, postal employee
- Nicholas Knight, 29, Dublin, GA, unemployed
- Jeffery Lance, 26, Silver, Creek, GA, school board employee/church youth director
- Donald Allen McFall, 31, Columbus, GA, unemployed
- Stephen McGatha, 49, Cedartown, GA, unknown
- John Clark Miller, 57, Winder, GA, glass company technician
- Jonathan Okelly, 37, Douglasville, GA, unknown
- Andrew Orr, 34, Marietta, GA, part-time freighter
- Daniel Pacheco, 27, Tucker, GA, disc jockey
- Hershell Kyle Pirkle, 29, restaurant worker
- Eric Wolfgang Rauth, 35, Elgin, Illinois, unknown
- Benjamin F. Smith, 41, Byron, GA, civilian employee at AFB
- Bryan F. Stisher, 35, Roswell, GA, online tutor
- Karl K. Strenth, Jr., 28, Leesburg, GA, unknown
- Thomas C. Toler, 54, St. Mary’s, GA, human resources
- Darren Alan Vincent, 47, Trion, GA, manufacturing worker
- Darlene Johnson, 49, Valdosta, GA, unemployed
- Michael Thor, 45, Valdosta, GA, unemployed
- Stephon B. Gary, 31, Valdosta, GA, unemployed