Atlanta GA Nov 6 2016 Seventeen Georgians were arrested on computer pornography and child exploitation charges this week as part of a two-state operation in Georgia and Alabama.
The arrests were made Wednesday and Thursday and also included 13 people from Alabama, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles said Friday.
In the effort dubbed “Operation Southern Impact,” state, federal and metro Atlanta law enforcement agencies used 54 search warrants, examined 162 digital devices and seized 731 digital media devices over about three months to make the arrests.
“Operation Southern Impact targeted persons who sexually exploit children by using the Internet,” Miles said.
That includes distributing child pornography, Miles added.
A two-state operation led to several arrests on computer pornography and child exploitation charges this week in Georgia and Alabama.
Participating law enforcement agencies included Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Smyrna police as well as the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
“Operation Southern Impact has given us an opportunity to share our experience, information and resources across units, agencies and state lines to make sure that there is no safe place to hide for criminals who would victimize the most vulnerable among us,” Miles said.
Those arrested in metro Atlanta include: 22-year-old Smyrna student Parker Hoekstra; 43-year-old addiction counseling pastor Dwight Watson of Canton; 30-year-old Lawrenceville construction worker Benjamin Brinker; 27-year-old Erik Nateras of Atlanta; 61-year-old David Potts of Cumming; 27-year-old restaurant employee Jason Herrin of Douglasville; 54-year-old engineer and small business owner Kenneth Flowers of Dallas; and 73-year-old Robert Peters of Winston.
Others arrested in Georgia include:
Store clerk Tyler Quarles, 24, of Winterville; Corey Moore, 38, of Savannah; Russell Love Jr., 48, of Swainsboro; production line worker Kevin Tanner, 40, of Kite; military cyber-security worker Jonathan Hurwitz, 48, of Evans; fencing worker Daniel Ridley, 34, of Cornelia; mechanic Kerry Williams, 56, of Columbus; registered nurse Roger McDonald, 61, of Valdosta; and Shane Murphy, 37, of Winder.
Warrants have been issued for the arrest of others in Georgia, Miles said.