Jackson,GA (May 30, 2023) – A child exploitation investigation that began from a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children resulted in the arrest of four individuals in Butts County. Agents with the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit with assistance from the Butts County Sheriff’s Office executed numerous search warrants in Butts County beginning on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. As a result of the investigation, warrants for Sexual Exploitation of Children were obtained for the arrest of Heather Clark. Clark, with the assistance of Christopher Taylor and Breonna Jones, traveled to another state to avoid arrest and conceal evidence of this crime. Through a collaborative effort from multiple agencies to include the GBI, the Butts County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the United States Marshals Service, Taylor and Clark were located and arrested on May 26, 2023 in Horry County, South Carolina.
During the investigation, GBI agents and Butts County deputies seized electronic devices which were forensically examined by GBI digital forensic investigators. The evidence revealed that Clark was producing and distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material. Those arrested in this investigation include:
Heather Clark, age 29, charged with 3 counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Distribution of Child Pornography) and 1 count of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Production of Child Pornography).
April Burns, age 52, charged with False Statements and Writings and Party to the Crime of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Production of Child Pornography).
Christopher Taylor, age 31, charged with Hindering Apprehension of a Criminal and Obstruction.
Breonna Jones, age 30, charged with Hindering Apprehension of a Criminal and Child Molestation.
Clark and Jones are in custody in Horry County South Carolina where they await extradition to return to Butts County. This investigation is part of the ongoing effort by the Georgia 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 these cases, or other cases of child exploitation, is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Unit at 404-270-8870.
Anonymous 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.