Sheriff’s deputies in Georgia have arrested 24 people— 23 men and one woman— on child sex charges after a four-day sting operation targeting child predators, police said.
The undercover sting, called “Operation Just Cause,” led to the arrests of 23 men and one woman all ranging in age from 19 to 65 on alleged child sex and human trafficking charges, according to a statement from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
The sting, which began last Thursday, targeted alleged predators willing to meet children online for sex, and willing to pay to have sex with underage individuals.
“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,” Cpl. Doug Rainwater, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“During the multiday operation, investigators had numerous exchanges with subjects on various social media or internet platforms,” he added.
Those arrested face charges of violating the Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act and Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude, according to the release.
“These individuals knew and clearly knew that they were arranging sexual encounters with very young, what they believed to be very young, children,” Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman told WSB-TV.
The operation was a four-day effort which included 13 different state, local, and federal agencies.