A Silver Creek elevator mechanic is among the 21 men arrested by a state task force targeting the online sexual exploitation of children.
The GBI announced the arrests Monday following a multi-agency undercover investigation dubbed "Operation Interception." The Floyd County Police Department was part of the months-long initiative, which was coordinated by the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and other state and federal agencies.
Most of the arrestees traveled from areas around metropolitan Atlanta to Brookhaven — where the sting was based — intending to meet a child for sex. They were booked into the DeKalb County Jail.
Dylan Michael Graham, 27, of 176 Adam Circle in Silver Creek, is charged with felony providing information on where visual medium depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct can be found.
He and 20 other men ranging in age from 20 to 55 were arrested under the Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007. Additional charges and arrests may be forthcoming, according to the GBI.
"Those who prey upon our most vulnerable population, must be held accountable for their actions," said DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston. "We will work quickly to file formal charges with the ultimate goal of prosecuting the accused individuals in the interest of justice for these egregious crimes."
The Polk County and Bartow County police departments also were involved in the operation.
According to the GBI release:
During “Operation Interception,” the Georgia ICAC Task Force made one human trafficking arrest connected with a site known to advertise for the sex industry.
The other arrests were the result of proactive investigations using standard dating and social media apps designed for adults to find casual sex partners. The arrestees had sexually explicit conversations with someone they believed to be a child, and several of them were communicating simultaneously with multiple investigators posing as minors.
Brookhaven police used license plate reader technology to more quickly locate previously identified predators as they entered the city limits. Through a partnership with Georgia Power and Vigilant Solutions technologies, Brookhaven has nearly 50 LPR cameras located throughout the city.