Newton County Man Charged for the Sexual Exploitation of Children

Covington, GA (May 2, 2022) – On Thursday, April 28, 2022, Pedro Lopez, Jr., age 63, of Newton County, GA, was charged with two counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. Lopez, Jr. was in custody at the Newton County Jail on unrelated charges when he was charged. The GBI CEACC Unit began an investigation into Lopez, Jr.’s online activity after receiving a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the online possession of images depicting child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The investigation revealed the identity of the subject, Pedro Lopez Jr., which subsequently led to the charges. The GBI was assisted in this case by the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Duluth

Duluth, GA (May 1, 2022) - The GBI is investigating an officer involved shooting in Duluth, GA. The Gwinnett County Police Department asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation on April 30, following a shooting that occurred on Oak Hampton Way in Duluth. One man has died. No officers were injured during the incident.  

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Fairburn

Fairburn, GA (April 29, 2022) - The GBI is investigating an officer involved shooting in Fairburn, GA. The Atlanta Police Department asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation on April 29, following a shooting that occurred while attempting to arrest Chase McDermott, age 22, on an outstanding warrant issued in Fulton County. McDermott died at the scene. No officers were injured during the incident.  

Wilcox County Man Arrested for Sexual Exploitation of Children

Rochelle, GA (April 29, 2022) – On Friday, April 22, 2022, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Wilcox County Sheriff’s Office, executed a residential search warrant related to an ongoing sexual exploitation of children investigation.  The investigation was initiated by HSI and involved a man possessing and distributing explicit child sexual abuse material (CSAM), commonly referred to as child pornography, via the internet, which resolved to Wilcox County, GA.

Florida Resident Charged for the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Georgia

DeKalb, GA (April 28, 2022) – On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, Elan Ben-Hanania, age 30, previously of Fayette County, GA, and now currently of Orlando, FL, was arrested and charged with three counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) and three counts Sexual Exploitation of Children (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. The GBI CEACC Unit began an investigation into Ben-Hanania’s online activity after receiving Cybertips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the online possession and distribution of images depicting child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The investigation revealed the identity of the subject, Ben-Hanania, and that the possession and distribution of the CSAM occurred within Fayette County, GA. At the time that arrest warrants were obtained for Ben-Hanania, he had relocated to Orlando, FL. The GBI obtained assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in locating and arresting Ben-Hanania on the criminal charges from Georgia.

Ben-Hanania is currently in custody in Orlando, FL, awaiting extradition to Georgia.

Clayton County Man Arrested for the Sexual Exploitation of Children

Jonesboro, GA (April 27, 2022) – On Monday, April 25, 2022, Kortney Parrish, age 37, of Clayton County, GA, was arrested and charged with four counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material) by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. The GBI CEACC Unit began an investigation into Parrish’s online activity after receiving a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the online possession of images depicting child sexual abuse material (CSAM). This investigation led to a search warrant at Parrish’s residence, where digital devices were searched and seized. The content of those devices subsequently led to Parrish’s arrest. The GBI CEACC Unit was assisted in the execution of the search warrant and arrest by the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Squad and the Clayton County Police Department. Parrish was transported to the Clayton County Jail upon his arrest.

Man Arrested in Johnson County for the Sexual Exploitation of Children

Wrightsville, GA (April 27, 2022) – On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit, with the assistance of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, executed a residential search warrant pertaining to an ongoing Sexual Exploitation of Children investigation. The investigation began after the GBI CEACC Unit received multiple related cybertips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The cybertips involved the possession and/or distribution of explicit child sexual abuse material, commonly referred to as child pornography, which resolved to Johnson County, GA.

As a result of the search warrant execution, the following individual was arrested:

Jake Robert Scott, age 30, of Wrightsville, GA, was charged with one count of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Possession of Child Pornography) and one count of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Distribution of Child Pornography).

Scott was transported to the Johnson County Jail.

GBI Arrests Early County Coroner in Sexual Assault Investigation - UPDATE

UPDATE

Blakely, GA (April 26, 2022) – On Friday, April 22, 2022, Former Early County Coroner Todd Hunter pled guilty to two counts of Misdemeanor Sexual Battery and was sentenced to two years of probation, to have no contact with his victims, and must resign from his position as Early County Coroner. Hunter was also denied First Offender Status. This case was prosecuted in the Pataula Judicial Circuit.

ORIGINAL RELEASE

Blakely, GA (August 19, 2021) – On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Early County Coroner Todd Hunter, age 51, of Blakely, GA, was arrested for Felony Violation of Oath of Office and Misdemeanor Sexual Battery.  Hunter was transported to the Early County Jail where he was subsequently released on bond.   

On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, the Early County Sheriff’s Office asked the GBI to investigate allegations that Hunter sexually assaulted one person at his home.  Based on information obtained during the investigation, investigators believe there are other victims.   

Cairo Man Arrested for Trafficking Methamphetamine

Colquitt County, GA (April 22, 2022) – On Saturday, April 16, 2022, the GBI Southwestern Regional Drug Enforcement Office, along with the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office, Grady County Sheriff’s Office, and Thomas County Sheriff’s Office, conducted a joint investigation into methamphetamine trafficking by Noah Melvin Sangster, Jr., age 60, of Grady County, GA. Sangster was arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine.

Clinch County Couple Arrested for Trafficking Methamphetamine

Homerville, GA (April 22, 2022) – On Tuesday, April 19, 2022, the GBI Southwestern Regional Drug Enforcement Office, Clinch County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia State Patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations, executed a search warrant at 165 Travis Lane, Homerville, Clinch County, GA, which resulted in the seizure of approximately 7.95 gallons of liquid methamphetamine. As a result of this search warrant, Bridget Harris, age 48, and Craig Harris, age 43, both of Homerville, were arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine.