Pickens County Man Arrested on Charges Related to the Human Trafficking of a Child for Sexual Purposes

Jasper, GA (September 16, 2021) – On Monday, September 13, 2021, Pickens County resident, Roland Buchanan, age 67, was arrested and charged with one count of Criminal Attempt to Commit the Offense of Human Trafficking, one count of Criminal Attempt to Commit Aggravated Child Molestation, one count of Pandering, and one count of Sexual Exploitation of Children by the GBI Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. Information was received regarding Buchanan’s potential involvement in a transaction involving the exchange of currency for sexual contact with a child. An investigation was conducted by the GBI CEACC Unit, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, and the Homeland Security Investigations Office in Dalton, GA. This investigation led to a search warrant at a home in Jasper, GA, and resulted in the collection of evidence revealing that on multiple occasions, Buchanan was offering currency to an adult in exchange for sexual contact with a child who resided outside of the United States.

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Cobb County

Smyrna, GA (September 14, 2021) – On Monday, September 13, 2021, the GBI was requested by the Cobb County Police Department (CCPD) to investigate an officer involved shooting. Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 9:45 a.m., CCPD officers responded to Concord Crossing Apartments, 2935 Old Concord Road, Building 525, Smyrna, GA in reference to a 911 call of shots fired. Cobb County SWAT encountered a barricaded man in an apartment with a reported second man/victim being held hostage inside.

Arrest Made in Lincoln County Double Drowning

Lincolnton, GA (September 10, 2021) – The GBI and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office arrested Shontover Kirkland, 32 years old, of Augusta, Georgia earlier today and charged her with one count of Reckless Conduct and two counts of Involuntary Manslaughter for the drowning deaths of Eynn Wilson and Edward Kirk Jr. that occurred on April 25, 2021, on Clarks Hill Lake in Lincoln County. Kirkland is being detained at the Lincoln County Jail.

GBI and Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office Make Arrest in Elder Exploitation Investigation

Colquitt County, GA (September 9, 2021) – On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, the GBI and Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office have charged Jean Allison Pignocco, age 54, of Olive Branch, Mississippi, with two counts of Exploitation and Intimidation of Disabled Adults/Elder Persons, two counts of Felony Theft by Taking, and one count of Kidnapping. Pignocco was arrested by the Desoto County Sheriff’s Office in Olive Branch, Mississippi, who assisted the GBI and Colquitt S.O. She was extradited back to Colquitt County after her arrest and booked into the Colquitt County Jail.

Clarke County Man Arrested for Child Sexual Exploitation

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.

GBI Conducts Death Investigation in Bulloch County

Update: September 1, 2021

The GBI has charged Rolando Millan, age 16, of East Point, GA, with three counts of Felony Murder for the murders of Brittany Sneed, Travis Sneed & Kristina Soles on July 4, 2021 in Statesboro, GA. Millan is currently in custody at the Augusta YDC on unrelated charges. This case is still active and ongoing.

Update: July 9, 2021

An autopsy performed by a GBI Medical Examiner confirms a triple homicide investigation. The preliminary results indicate that the cause & manner of death for all three victims (Brittany Sneed Mack, Travis Sneed, & Kristina Soles) is homicide by gunshot. 

This case remains active and ongoing. Anyone with information about the person(s) responsible for the three deaths is urged to contact the Bulloch County Sheriff‘s office at 912–764–8888 or the GBI Regional Investigative Office in Statesboro at 912–871–1121.  Tips can also be submitted anonymously 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.

On Sunday, July 4, 2021, at approximately 7:56 p.m., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Bulloch County Sheriff‘s Office to assist with a death investigation.

At approximately 7:00 PM, the Bulloch County Sheriff‘s Office was dispatched to a call at Lundy’s Trailer Park off of Miller Street Extension in Statesboro, Georgia in reference to a female gunshot victim.  When deputies arrived on scene, they found Brittany Sneed Mack, 35, on the back porch of the residence suffering from suspected gunshot wounds.  She was transported away from the scene and pronounced deceased on the way to the hospital.

On Sunday, July 4, 2021, at approximately 7:56 p.m., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Bulloch County Sheriff‘s Office to assist with a death investigation.

At approximately 7:00 PM, the Bulloch County Sheriff‘s Office was dispatched to a call at Lundy’s Trailer Park off of Miller Street Extension in Statesboro, Georgia in reference to a female gunshot victim.  When deputies arrived on scene, they found Brittany Sneed Mack, 35, on the back porch of the residence suffering from suspected gunshot wounds.  She was transported away from the scene and pronounced deceased on the way to the hospital.

Members of both the Bulloch County Sheriff‘s Office and the Statesboro Police Department’s Special Response Teams entered the residence where they discovered Travis Sneed, 37, and Kristina Soles, 37, both deceased from suspected gunshot wounds.

GBI Arrests Camden County Man on Multiple Charges Related to Woodbine Officer Involved Shooting Investigation

Kingsland, GA (September 1, 2021) – On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, the GBI arrested Varshan Brown, 47, of Camden County, Georgia and charged him with  three counts of Aggravated Assault Against a Peace Officer, two counts of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, and one count of Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon. 

Brown is connected to an officer involved shooting incident (https://gbi.georgia.gov/press-releases/2021-05-04/gbi-investigates-officer-involved-shooting-camden-county) that happened on May 4, 2021 at Brown’s Woodbine, Georgia residence.   The GBI secured an arrest warrant for Brown on May 20, 2021. 

GBI Arrests Alpharetta Man in Human Trafficking Investigation

Sparks, GA (September 1, 2021)On August 31, 2021, the GBI arrested Nicholas Fernandez, 23, of Alpharetta, GA, in Athens and charged him with the following:

* Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Servitude (sex trafficking of a minor) and Enticing a Minor (Cook County charges)

* Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Servitude ((sex trafficking of a minor) (Athens-Clarke County charge))

* Child Molestation (Athens-Clarke County charge)

* Aggravated Child Molestation (Athens-Clarke County charge)

* Statutory Rape (Athens-Clarke County charge)

* Kidnapping (Athens-Clarke County charge)

 

Oconee County Man Arrested for Offenses Related to the Sexual Exploitation of Children

Watkinsville, GA (September 1, 2021) – On Monday, August 30, 2021, Ben Simms, age 19, was charged with one count of Criminal Attempt to Commit the Sexual Exploitation of Children and one count of Prohibition on Nude or Sexually Explicit Electronic Transmissions by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. The GBI CEACC Unit was requested by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the sexual exploitation of multiple adults and a juvenile, via the internet, who were believed to be from the Oconee County, Georgia area.  The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office received a report that several identified adults and at least one identified juvenile’s images had been posted to a pornography site for the purpose of harassing the individuals and/or the sexual exploitation/manipulation of said images by the subject and other like-minded individuals.  An investigation into this subject led to the arrest of Ben Simms in Kennesaw, Georgia.  During the arrest, multiple electronic devices belonging to Simms were seized pursuant to search warrants and are currently being processed for additional evidence. ​​​​​​​

GBI Investigates Use of Force Incident in Coffee County

Douglas, GA (August 31, 2021) – The GBI is investigating a use of force incident between Coffee County deputies and Pernell Harris, 29, of Douglas, GA.

The preliminary information indicates that on August 25, 2021, at approximately 6:00 a.m., the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a 911 call at 300 Sleepy Hollow Rd., Douglas, Coffee County about a domestic dispute. 

Officers spoke with a woman that said Harris was under the influence of an unknown drug and waiving a gun in the presence of her and her young son.  Deputies made contact with Harris inside the residence and located a weapon in a backpack that Harris had in his possession.  After a struggle with officers, Harris was arrested and transported to the Coffee County Jail.  Once at the jail, Harris became unresponsive and was transported to Coffee Regional Medical Center.