23 men, including residents from Braselton, Clarkesville, Suwanee and Winder, face charges in a multi-agency sting operation targeting online predators.
(NOTE: A full list of the men arrested is at the bottom of this article.)
"Operation Spring Cleaning" was a five-day operation, which started April 20, in Gwinnett County where officers, posing as children online, arranged for meetings with sexual predators, according to Detective David Smith, Gwinnett Police.
The under cover officers, known as "chatters," would reveal to the suspects that they were under the age of 16, and could not, therefore, give consent for sex.
"Even so, the offenders agreed to so. Some of them even offered money in exchange for those acts," said Smith.
At that point, the predators would travel to meet the undercover officer, whereupon he would be arrested and charged with child exploitation.
Among the 23 arrested were: Brian Dwayne Clark, 41, of Winder; Alisha Gagguturu, 23, of Suwanee; Joel Blake Jackson, 22, of Braselton; Steven Anthony King, 26, of Clarkesville; Max Park, 37, of Suwanee; and William David Warren, 41 of Winder.
Many of the men arrested, Smith said, are people the average person might interact with on a daily basis, like Clark, who is a mechanic, or Jackson, who is a gas station attendant.
"These are people you would hire to come work on your house. They would be coming into your house, where you have your children. Many of them have children of their own, (and) wives," said Smith.
"We even have people who were in the military. No job is untouched by this. It could be anyone."
Fifteen agencies, including the Hall County Sheriff's Office, FBI and GBI participated in the sting, netting the following arrests:
- Scott Robert Baxter, 34, Tucker, retail employee
- Andrew Sean Carroll, 19, Dacula, grounds maintenance
- Brian Dwayne Clark, 41, Winder, mechanic
- Alisha Gagguturu, 23, Suwanee, unknown
- Connor Fionn Hale, 23, Lawrenceville, unemployed
- Demetrius Deshawn Harper, 22, Lawrenceville, automotive technician
- Joel Blake Jackson, 22, Braselton, gas station attendant
- Rasesh Jagtap, 33, Alpharetta, information technology specialist
- Akshat Jasra, 35, Alpharetta, software consultant
- David Kelley, 22, College Park, model display builder
- Steven Anthony King, 26, Clarkesville, warehouse employee
- Horacio Mendoza, 48, Lawrenceville, construction worker
- Andrew Ryan Murphy, 22, Norcross, janitor
- Max Park, 37, Suwanee, unemployed
- Edward Harold Ramsey, 24, Wichita, KS, USAF
- Melchior Simon, 28, Duluth, unemployed
- Martinez-Torres Sixto , 30, Norcross, electrician
- Brett William Smith, Jr., 35, floor installer
- Zadok Smith, 27, Duluth, furniture assembler
- James Evan Soggs, 20, Sandy Springs, warehouse employee
- Adis Spahic, 40, Lawrenceville, warehouse manager
- Ertiza Talukder, 23, Lawrenceville, hotel employee
- William David Warren, 41, Winder, shop foreman