Athens, GA (September 7, 2021) – On Thursday, August 26, 2021, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit, arrested Justin Coates, 37, of Athens, Georgia. Coates was charged with five counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Distribution of Child Pornography). The GBI CEACC Unit began an investigation into Coates’ online activity regarding the online possession and distribution of images depicting child sexual abuse material. This investigation led to a search warrant at Coates’ residence in Clarke County. Coates was booked into the Athens-Clarke County Jail upon his arrest.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department assisted with the execution of the search warrant and the arrest of Coates.

This investigation is part of the ongoing effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, housed within the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, to identify those involved in the child pornography trade. The ICAC Program, created by the U.S. Department of Justice, 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.

Anyone with information about other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit at 404-270-8870. Tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

Contact Assistant Special Agent in Charge

Tony Lima