“Operation Mayday” Targets On-line Child Predators

May 18, 2015

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), the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, 22 people were arrested over a four day period beginning May14.  Those arrested were charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit Child Molestation, OCGA 16-4-1.  Additional charges may be forthcoming.

 

“Operation Mayday” was a four day proactive effort centered in Richmond County, GA.  The operation took months of planning.  The arrestees, ranging in age from 19 to 52, traveled from areas around Augusta and from South Carolina with the intent to meet a child for sex.  Some of their occupations included actor, funeral home director, tire salesman, electrician, software programmer, correctional officer, pharmacy tech, student, and deputy jailer.             

 

Along with the GBI’s CEACC, the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC) and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, 16 additional law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices participated in “Operation Mayday” as members of the Georgia ICAC Task Force. These agencies were:

 

Alpharetta Police Department
Atlanta Police Department
Carrollton Police Department
Cobb County Police Department
Columbus Police Department
Coweta County Sheriff’s Office
DeKalb County Police Department
Effingham Police Department
Kennesaw Police Department
Moultrie Police Department
Richmond County District Attorney’s Office
Woodstock Police Department
State Board of Pardons and Paroles
US Secret Service
US Attorney’s Office, Southern District
Federal Bureau of Investigation

The purpose of “Operation Mayday” 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 of having sex.  The children these predators target are both boys and girls.  In addition, the operation targeted those that are willing to exploit children by purchasing sex with a minor, and the recruitment of victims of child sex trafficking.  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 Richmond County as part of “Operation Mayday”:

 

Thomas Michael Moxley, Jr., W/M, from Aiken, SC, 43, tire store employee
Cody Allen Bondurant, W/M, from Martinez, GA, 23, actor
Paul Ellis Kitchens, W/M, from Augusta, GA 44, funeral home director
Richard Dean Tyndall W/M, from Evans, GA, 24, electrician
Leon Cornelius Holley, B/M, from Grovetown, GA, 20, retail stocker
John Kenneth Crowley, W/M, from Augusta, GA, 30, unemployed
Kyle Andrew Negus, W/M, from Augusta, GA, 26, software programmer
Travis Demond Driggers, B/M, from Louisville, GA, 34, correctional officer
Matthew Kyle Sears, W/M, from Augusta, GA, 25, tire store employee
Matthew Robert Tyndall, W/M, from Augusta, GA, 25, restaurant manager
Cody Justin Pobanz, W/M, from Augusta, GA, 27, crane tech
Christopher Anthony Titre, B/M, Martinez, GA, 22, grocery store employee
Jordan Andrew Waters, W/M, Beach Island, SC, 22, pharmacy tech
Ruben Ellis Reese, W/M, Martinez, GA, 52, deputy jailer
Nicholas Sebastian Barber, W/M, Martinez, GA, 23, pool attendant
Ian B. Shelby, W/M, Martinez, GA, 25, university student
Everett Ryan Lewis, W/M, Baxley, GA, 21, laborer
Heather Elyssa Myers, W/F, 19, Fort Gordon, GA, soldier
Reginald Martinez Grubbs, B/M, Waynesboro, GA, 40, truck driver
Jordan Blake Roberts, W/M, Grovetown, GA, 21, airman
Nicholas Michael Hopkins, W/M, Evans, GA, 25, landscaper
Tyler Alexander Judkins, W/M, Evans, GA, 19, student

 

Six of those arrested also admitted to previous sexual contact with children.  One offender arrived with two firearms in his vehicle.  Additionally, multiple phones and digital devices were seized.  Those devices will be processed and analyzed and additional charges may be filed after reviewing the results of that analysis.

 

The Georgia ICAC Task Force is comprised of 200+ 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 185 arrests in 2014 and has made over 1,300 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/.

 

# # # # #

Contact Information: 
Sherry Lang 404/270-8330