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GBI Arrests Two Columbia County Men for Sexual Exploitation of Children

On Wednesday, October 19, 2022, Taylor Randall Shellito, age 34, and Joshua Paul Barnhill, age 40, of Columbia County, Georgia, were arrested for the Sexual Exploitation of Children by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. These arrests were a result of two unrelated investigations being conducted by the GBI CEACC Unit. Both investigations stemmed from cybertip reports received by the GBI from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding both subjects’ involvement in the online possession of child sexual abuse material. These investigations led to search warrants at the homes of Barnhill and Shellito by the GBI. The GBI was assisted in the execution of these search warrants by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Barnhill was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of children. Shellito was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of children. Both men were taken to the Columbia County Jail upon arrest.

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 sexual abuse material, 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.

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