The seven men were under the impression they were talking to girls online who were under 16 years old, police spokeswoman Brittany Page said. The men showed up at various locations in hopes of meeting the underage girls, but investigators were waiting to arrest them instead, according to Page.
The operation spanned three days and was a joint investigation between the Woodstock police department and GBI’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, AJC reports.
The men who were arrested at the scene include 33-year-old Jason Bryan Major from Dawsonville, 37-year-old Robert Jones from Atlanta, 21-year-old Garrett Hick from Atlanta, 24-year-old Bryan Gomez from Canton, and 38-year-old Mark Shin from Newnan, police said.
Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp tweeted about the bust:
Thanks to the great work of Woodstock law enforcement and @GBI_GA, these criminals are now behind bars. We couldn’t be more grateful for our LEOs and all they do to keep us safe! #gapol https://t.co/TbwOAsxudx
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) January 24, 2020
The five named men are all facing charges of child exploitation, criminally attempting to molest a child, and criminally attempting to entice a child for indecent purposes. Jason Bryan Major is also being charged with the criminal attempt to commit sodomy, police said. The five named men are currently being held without bond at the Cherokee County Jail as of Friday, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Two other men were also charged during the investigation. 63-year-old David Nelson of Gadsden, Alabama is facing computer child pornography charges, attempt to commit child molestation, and child exploitation. Authorities in Alabam arrested David Nelson, police said. The seventh suspect has not yet been identified and was not taken into police custody as of Friday late morning.
Anyone who has information about suspected child sexual exploitation is urged to contact the national cyber-tip line at 1-800-843-5678 or on its website www.cybertipline.com. People are able to submit reports 24 hours a day, seven days a week.