Lowndes County deputies arrest 11 people in underage sex sting; advice given to parents to keep kids safe

The Lowndes County GA Sheriff’s Office assisted US Air Force Agents in the arrest of 11 people in an underage sex sting called “Operation Broken Heart.”

Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine issued the following release:

Beginning in April 2014 investigators from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office assisted United States Air Force federal agents at Moody Air Force Base with operation Broken Heart; a special operation to address the growing problem of child exploitation via social media and networking sites. This operation was targeted toward military and civilian personnel associated with Moody A.F.B.

Children or young people are often tricked into believing they’re in a loving, consensual relationship by an adult with ulterior motives. During the operation, agents posted ads on various social media or web sites presenting themselves as an underage teenager seeking friendship. In each instance the conversation between the “14-year-old” and the suspect attempted to develop a relationship by making overtures for a meeting, often requesting photographs and the promise of “having fun.” Some blatantly mentioned sexual activity as a possibility of the meeting. Each time a meeting place and time was established where the person believed they were going to meet a fourteen year old child; instead law enforcement intercepted the person. Although the operation was geared toward a specific group, several unassociated civilians initiated contact with the undercover agent and were ultimately arrested for their actions by the Sheriff’s Office.

All of the persons arrested during this operation, both civilian and military will be prosecuted by the office of District Attorney J. David Miller.

Sheriff Prine stated these ads were posted on common social networking sites which have chat rooms that both teens and adults can access. Parents are urged get involved with their kids and what they are doing while they are at home; there are many ways for parents to limit the reach of predators to their children through controls on social media, cellular telephones and the like. The best advice to give is that parents need to monitor what their children are doing both on smart phones and media devices, iPads, and computers. There are different programs out there they can use to track their activity. Talk to your kids, monitor their activity.

Sheriff Prine stressed the commitment of his office to aggressively, work these types of crimes and attempt to weed out those persons who intend to endanger children. Anyone with information on any of these persons that may assist with the investigation is asked to contact the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office at {229} 671-2950; anonymous tips can be provided at {229} 671-2985 or on line at www.lowndessheriff.com.”

Arrested were Kirk Allen Jackson, 30, of Lake Park; William Donald Taylor II, 40, of Valdosta; Todd Conrad Buckham, 45, of Valdosta; Winston Landon Casady, 27, of Valdosta; Wallace Newton Gaskins, 43, of Lake Park; Ashton Mikal Tyus, 20, of Valdosta; Raymond Geoffrey Taylor, 23, of Valdosta; James Dominick Coleman, 22, of Valdosta; Benjamin Keith Reedy, 21, of Hahira; Casey, Sherwood Ellis, 24, of Valdosta; and Corey Allen Williams, 23, of Valdosta.

All 11 suspects were charged with Obscene Internet Contact and Computer and Electronic Pornography & Child Exploitation Prevention.

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