An undercover Hall County Sheriff’s Office investigation called "Operation Good Shepherd" yielded the arrest(s) of several child predators.
According to Public Information Officer Derreck Booth, the undercover investigation was a concentrated effort targeting online child predators.
"Personnel with the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division began the operation in late October, participating in online communication with adults who believed they were having exchanges with minors," Booth said. "During the effort, investigators had interaction with subjects through various mobile applications, including social media platforms and text messaging. Individuals identified in the operation range in age from 24 to 47 and live in Georgia cities stretching from Cleveland to Lilburn."
Booth said of those now facing charges as a result from the investigation, the offenses included but were not limited to offers of money to a child (investigator) to perform sexual acts and sending obscene images and describing sex acts.
"Law enforcement began taking subjects into custody on Thursday, November 21, with arrests occurring on an almost daily basis thereafter. The Floyd County Police Department and Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office made one arrest each in the operation in their respective jurisdictions," Booth said. "Hall County Investigators made the remaining eight.
Operation Good Shepherd was carried out in collaboration with the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force with assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Floyd County Police Department.
While the operation has concluded, each case remains under investigation by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, and additional charges are possible.
“I’m very proud of the efforts of our own Criminal Investigations Division in heading up and executing this operation,” Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said. “I’m confident the hard work of our team and partner agencies in this effort will make the community safer for our children.”
The arrests and charges are as follows:
- Thursday, Nov. 21 - Patrick C. Reese, 32, of Flowery Branch (Arrested in Floyd County by the Floyd County Police Department); sexual exploitation of children; aggravated child molestation; criminal attempt.
- Friday, Nov. 22 - Alan Alberto Rojas, 24, of Lilburn; child molestation, criminal attempt; aggravated child molestation, criminal attempt; obscene material; furnish electronically to a minor; enticing a child online; human trafficking.
- Saturday, Nov. 23 - Cynthia Lynn Michelle Lloyd, 25, of Gainesville; prostitution.
- Patricia Erica Burt, 37, of Cumming; prostitution; human trafficking.
- Monday, Nov. 25 - Michael Ryan Jewell, 35, of Buford (Released from Hall County Jail on Tuesday, Nov. 26, $5,700 bond); sexual exploitation of children.
- Tuesday, Nov. 26 - Christopher Alan Hoover, 33, of Jasper; enticing a child online x 5; sexual exploitation of children; pandering by compulsion.
- Colt David Clemmer, 33, of Talmo; sexual exploitation of children.
- Matthew David Ingram, 34, of Gainesville; sexual exploitation of children x 3.
- William David Gowdy, 40, of Cumming (Arrested in Forsyth County by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office); sexual exploitation of children x 3; electronic enticement of a minor.
- Wednesday, Nov. 27 - Jason Noel Lingerfelt, 47, of Cleveland; enticing a child online x 4.