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“Operation Broken Heart” Targets On-line Child Predators

“Operation Broken Heart” Targets On-line Child Predators

March 2, 2014

Decatur, GA – As a result of a proactive undercover investigation coordinated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit (CEACC) and the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force 14 people were arrested over a four day period beginning Wednesday, February 26.  Those arrested were charged with OCGA 16-12-100.2, Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 1999.  Additional charges may be forthcoming.

“Operation Broken Heart” was a four day proactive effort centered in DeKalb County.  The operation took months of planning.  The arrestees, ranging in age from 21 to 64, traveled from all parts of Northern Georgia with the intent to meet a child for sex.  Some of their occupations included educator, engineer, laborer, salesman, business owner, software developer, and a musician. 

Thirty-seven law enforcement agencies and prosecutors participated in “Operation Broken Heart” along with the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit (CEACC) and the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC).  These agencies were:

1)            Homeland Security Investigations

2)            Federal Bureau of Investigation

3)            US Marshal Service

4)            US Attorney’s Office, Northern District

5)            US Postal Inspection Service

6)            US Secret Service

7)            State Board of Pardons and Paroles

8)            DeKalb County Police Department

9)            DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office

10)        Sandy Springs Police Department

11)        Richmond County Sheriff’s Office

12)        Conyers Police Department

13)        Marietta Police Department

14)        Newton County Sheriff’s Office

15)        Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

16)        Cobb County Police Department

17)        Gwinnett County Police Department

18)        City of Monroe Police Department

19)        Adairsville Police Department

20)        Acworth Police Department

21)        City of Doraville Police Department

22)        Henry County Police Department

23)        Coweta County Sheriff’s Office

24)        Effingham County Sheriff’s Office

25)        Bremen Police Department

26)        Paulding County Sheriff’s Office

27)        Lamar County Sheriff’s Office

28)        Alpharetta Police Department

29)        Atlanta Police Department

30)        Moultrie Police Department

31)        Houston Police Department

32)        Polk County Police Department

33)        Villa Rica Police Department

34)        Coweta County Sheriff’s Office

35)        Kennesaw Police Department

36)        Air Force Office of Special Investigations

37)        North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

The purpose of “Operation Broken Heart” was to arrest persons who communicate with children on-line and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex.  On-line 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 for having sex.  The proactive on-line investigation was a coordinated effort among all the law enforcement agencies to combat this activity.

The following were arrested and charged in DeKalb County as part of “Operation Broken Heart”:

Kahsi Butler, 31, of Conyers (musician)

Fred Gregory Chatham, 64, of Griffin (field tech)

Benjamin Hopson, 21, of Lithonia (grocery store employee)
John Benjamin Katz, 29, of Fairburn (drafter)

Cheney Li, 22, of Atlanta (software developer)

John McGill, 56, of Villa Rica (elementary school principal)
J. B. Owen, 58, of Canton (VP of ambulance service)
Marc Matthew Peterson, 38, of Acworth (culinary business manager)
Tiana Cousteau Reese, 38, of College Park
Tracy Antonio Solomon, 50, of Stockbridge (airport crew outfitter)

Choon Hong David Tan, 52, of Johns Creek (engineer)
Richard Roger Tumlin, 49, of Winder (load operator)

Kenneth Walker, 48, of Winder (sales)

Dane Andrew Wolfe, 34, of Snellville (driver)

The Georgia ICAC Task Force is comprised of 179 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, other related criminal justice agencies and prosecutor’s offices.  The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the U. S. Department of Justice and managed and operated by the GBI in Georgia, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education. The ICAC Program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims. By helping state and local law enforcement agencies develop effective and sustainable responses to online child victimization and child pornography, the ICAC program delivers national resources at the local level.

The Georgia ICAC Task Force made 236 arrests in 2013 and has made over 1,000 arrests since its inception in 2002.  The Georgia ICAC Task Force website is www.familyinternet.info and the GBI website is http://gbi.georgia.gov/

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Contact Information: 
Contact: Sherry Lang - (404)270-8330