9 Arrested in "Operation End Game" Targeting Online Child Predators
Nine people have been arrested in an undercover investigation targeting Online Child Predators. According to a media release from the GBI, “Operation End Game” was a three-day proactive effort centered in Athens. The operation took several months of planning.
Those arrested ranged in age from 19 to 53. Authorities say they traveled from areas around Northeast Georgia with the intent to meet a child for sex. One suspect was a convicted murderer who had completed his sentence. Another had firearms and a machete when arrested. Thirteen mobile phones were seized during the operation.
The Athens-Clarke County Police Department and the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office joined the GBI and several other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies taking part in “Operation End Game.”
Those arrested were from Athens, Winterville, Statham, Winder and Royston and Colbert.
During the multi-day operation, investigators had more than 200 exchanges with subjects on various social media or internet platforms.
Many of those were exchanges in which the subject initiated contact with whom they believed to be a minor and directed the conversation towards sex.
Authorities say the children these predators target are both boys and girls.
In some of those cases, the subject introduced obscene or lude content, often exposing the minor (UC) to pornography or requesting the child take nude or pornographic images for them. About half of the exchanges involved websites used for dating, socializing, or even websites used for classified advertisements.
The following were arrested and charged in Clarke County as part of “Operation End Game”:
1. Morgan Andrews, W/M, Maxeys, GA, 27, mold repair technician
2. Joseph Kelly, W/M, 44, Statham, GA, assembly line worker
3. James Morriss, Jr., W/M, Dacula, GA, 49, sales representative
4. Andrew Schafer, W/M, Winder, GA, 53, project manager
5. Deointe Sims, B/M, Athens, GA, 25, assembly line worker
6. Fredrick Smith, B/M, Royston, GA, 29, fast food/food delivery service employee
7. Michael Turner, B/M, Covington, GA, 46, shipping/receiving employee
8. Zachary Turner, B/M, Colbert, GA, 19, unemployed
9. Noe Villafuerte, H/M, Winterville, GA, 44, landscaper