Investigators in Forsyth County, Georgia, said that they arrested 24 people on child sex and human trafficking charges after a four-day operation targeting predators.
According to a statement on the Facebook page of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, a proactive undercover investigation called Operation Just Cause, led to the arrests of 23 men and one woman all ranging in age from 19 to 65 and most were from North Georgia, but others traveled to Forsyth County from surrounding states to meet children.
The operation was based in Cumming, Forsyth County, and included 13 law enforcement agencies from state and local and federal levels.
It began Thursday, Sept. 5, targeted alleged predators willing to meet children online for sex, and willing to pay to have sex with a minor.
“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,” Cpl. Doug Rainwater, the spokesman for the sheriff’s office, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“During the multi-day operation, investigators had numerous exchanges with subjects on various social media or internet platforms,” he added.
Agencies that joined the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in the operation, included departments from North Fulton, Cherokee, Coweta, Floyd, Hall, and Gwinnett counties.
Twenty-four individuals were arrested with charges of violating the computer or Electronic Pornography and child Exploitation Prevention Act and trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude.
“These individuals knew and clearly knew that they were arranging sexual encounters with very young, what they believed to be very young, children,” Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman told WSB-TV.
“As a human being, as a father, I have a tough time even comprehending that,” Freeman said at a news conference announcing the arrests.