As a result of a proactive online undercover investigation coordinated by the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit (CEACC), and the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations, 12 people were arrested over a three-day period beginning Thursday, May 4, 2023.
Arrested and charged were:
- Ameziane Hadjaz, 38 years old, from Acworth, GA, occupation: sales engineer; charged with OCGA 16-12-100.2(d)(1) Computer/Electronic Pornography & Child Exploitation Prevention.
- Jason Rogich, 47 years old, from Adairsville, GA, occupation: unemployed; charged with OCGA 16-12-100.2(d)(1) Computer/Electronic Pornography & Child Exploitation Prevention.
- Algenone Kenonta Shaw, 33 years old, from Cartersville, GA, occupation: unknown; charged with OCGA 16-12-100.2(d)(1) Computer/Electronic Pornography & Child Exploitation Prevention and OCGA 16-10-24(b) Obstruction.
- Senaca Terry Darns, 43 years old, from Cartersville, GA, occupation: landscaper; charged with OCGA 16-12-100.2(d)(1) Computer/Electronic Pornography & Child Exploitation Prevention
- Melvin Walcott, 56 years old, from Cartersville, GA, occupation: rideshare driver; charged with OCGA 16-12-100.2(d)(1) Computer/Electronic Pornography & Child Exploitation Prevention.
- Jonathan Brumit, 42 years old, from Lindale, GA, occupation: forklift driver; charged with OCGA 16-12-100.2(d)(1) Computer/Electronic Pornography & Child Exploitation Prevention.
- Dannis Lucious Jackson, 43 years old, from Rome, GA, occupation warehouse worker; charged with OCGA 16-12-100.2(d)(1) Computer/Electronic Pornography & Child Exploitation Prevention.
- Justin Leo Tan, 24 years old, from Lawrenceville, GA, occupation: unemployed; charged with OCGA 16-12-100.2(d)(1) Computer/Electronic Pornography & Child Exploitation Prevention and O.C.G.A. 16-11-106 Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Crime
- Jose A. Martinez-Medina, 45 years old, from Cave Spring, GA, occupation: factory supervisor; charged with OCGA 16-5-46 Human Trafficking.
- Tyler Jordon Croft, 25 years old, from Hull, GA, occupation: unemployed; charged with OCGA 16-5-46 Human Trafficking
- Curtis Breeden, 33 years old, from Cartersville, GA, occupation: factory worker; charged with OCGA 16-12-100 Sexual Exploitation of Children (9 counts).
- William Biggs, Jr, 64 years old, from Cartersville, GA, occupation: unemployed; OCGA 16-12-100.2(d)(1) Computer/Electronic Pornography & Child Exploitation Prevention
Additional charges and arrests may be forthcoming.
“Operation Golden Eagle” took several months of planning and involved the collaboration of 12 law enforcement agencies. The arrestees, ranging in age from 24-64, traveled from areas around Bartow County, GA, with the intent to meet a child for sex. Eleven of those arrested believed they were going to a location to meet with a child and engage in prearranged sex acts. One was arrested for possession of child sexual abuse material found during a search warrant execution. GBI digital forensic investigators were on hand at the operation to forensically process 16 electronic devices that were seized as evidence during the operation.
The goal of “Operation Golden Eagle” was to identify persons who engage in sexually explicit communication with children on the internet, arrange to engage in a sex act with the child, and then travel to meet the child for the purpose of having sex. Additionally, the operation targeted those that are willing to exploit children by purchasing sex with a minor. Online child predators visit chat rooms and websites on the internet, find children, begin conversations with them, introduce sexual content and arrange a meeting with the children for the purpose of having sex. The children these predators target are both boys and girls. Since 2014, the Georgia ICAC Task Force has arrested over 178 people in similar operations.
During “Operation Golden Eagle,” undercover investigators had more than 98 exchanges with persons on various social media and internet platforms. During many of these exchanges, the subjects directed conversations towards sex with persons they believed to be minors. Some of these conversations involved the arrangement of sex with a minor in exchange for monetary compensation. Twenty-one cases were established that met the threshold for arrest. Eleven of those cases were concluded with arrests after the perpetrator attempted to actually meet the “child” in person. In some of these cases, the subject introduced obscene or lude content, often exposing what the perpetrator thought was a child to pornography or requesting the child produce and send sexual or pornographic images for them. About half of the exchanges involved websites used for dating, socializing, or even websites used for classified advertisements.
Although some websites promote themselves as being for “adults-only” it is not uncommon for law enforcement to work cases in which children access these sites, establish profiles claiming to be older, and then find themselves vulnerable to victimization, harassment, blackmail, or assault. Several subjects were identified as communicating simultaneously with multiple investigators posing as minors. Such activity confirms what investigators uncover conducting these types of investigations: that many predators specifically seek out minors on such websites to groom them as potential victims for sexual contact.
Twelve law enforcement agencies, all partners in the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children’s Task Force, participated in “Operation Golden Eagle.” These agencies were:
- Bartow County Sheriff’s Office
- Bartow County District Attorney’s Office
- Cartersville Police Department
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Floyd County Police Department
- Georgia Bureau of Investigation (CEACC, HEAT, GISAC, and Region 7)
- Hall County Sheriff’s Office
- Homeland Security Investigations
- Lilburn Police Department
- Polk County Police Department
- Roswell Police Department
- United States Secret Service
The Georgia ICAC Task Force is comprised of 290+ local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, other related criminal justice agencies and prosecutor’s offices. The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the U.S. Department of Justice and managed and operated by the GBI in Georgia, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education. The ICAC Program 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. By helping state and local law enforcement agencies develop effective and sustainable responses to online child victimization and child pornography, the ICAC program delivers national resources at the local level. Any Georgia law enforcement agency wishing to join GA ICAC Task Force is encouraged to contact the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit.
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 or report via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline at CyberTipline.org. 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.