The Augusta Chronicle
Monday, May 18, 2015 8:48 AM
Almost two dozen people including a funeral home director, soldier and corrections officers were arrested in a weekend operation aimed at targeting online sexual predators.
Debbie Garner, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit and commander of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said those charged thought most of the children were around 14 to 15 years old.
The offenders range in age, gender, race and occupation, which Garner said is not surprising.
“There is no stereotype,” she said. “There is no typical child predator. “
The undercover operation was coordinated by the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and assisted by members of the task force from 16 other Georgia law enforcement agencies.
Sheriff Richard Roundtree said he considered the operation, which took several months of “very tedious planning,” most successful.
Six of the those arrested admitted to previous sexual contact with children. One had two firearms in his vehicle at the time of arrest, and two had the intent of trading something of value in order to have sex with the child.
“They were pretty surprised,” Garner said of the offenders finding themselves in handcuffs instead of meeting a child. “...Some are (remorseful) but some are just sad they got caught.”
All of the suspects’ phones and digital devices were seized. Those devices will be processed and analyzed.
Officials said in a Monday morning news conference that they hope this will bring home the importance of parents monitoring their children’s Internet activity to keep them from sexual predators. In addition to the sexual abuse, children who meet with these type predators could fall victim to kidnapping or human trafficking.
“Children are vulnerable,” Garner said. “The predators are nice to them. They promise them they will take care of them. There are all sorts of ways that they will entice a child to meet with them.”
Officials would not release many details on the workings of the undercover operation, but said no children were actually involved. Garner said people can relate it to television operations like Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator,” but there are also a lot of differences.
Garner said this is only the second online child predator operation she has been involved in. Last year in suburban Atlanta’s DeKalb County a similar operation resulted in 14 arrests.
- Thomas Michael Moxley, Jr. - Aiken - 43 - tire store employee
- Cody Allen Bondurant - Martinez - 23 - actor
- Paul Ellis Kitchens - Augusta - 44 - funeral home director
- Richard Dean Tyndall - Evans - 24 - electrician
- Leon Cornelius Holley - Grovetown - 20 - retail stocker
- John Kenneth Crowley - Augusta - 30 - unemployed
- Kyle Andrew Negus - Augusta - 26 - software programmer
- Travis Demond Driggers - Louisville - 34 - correctional officer
- Matthew Kyle Sears - Augusta - 25 - tire store employee
- Matthew Robert Tyndall - Augusta - 25 - restaurant manager
- Cody Justin Pobanz - Augusta - 27 - crane tech
- Christopher Anthony Titre - Martinez - 22 - grocery store employee
- Jordan Andrew Waters - Beech Island - 22 - pharmacy tech
- Ruben Ellis Reese - Martinez - 52 - Columbia County deputy jailer
- Nicholas Sebastian Barber - Martinez - 23 - pool attendant
- Ian B. Shelby - Martinez - 25 - university student
- Everett Ryan Lewis - Baxley, Ga. - 21 - laborer
- Heather Elyssa Myers - 19 - Fort Gordon - soldier
- Reginald Martinez Grubbs - Waynesboro - 40 - truck driver
- Jordan Blake Roberts - Grovetown - 21 - Airman
- Nicholas Michael Hopkins - Evans - 25 - landscaper
- Tyler Alexander Judkins - Evans - 19 - student
As a police officer told me last year, "Nobody needs to be around a sex offender, ever. They are sick in the head, they don't think like other people, and they never change."
ALL of them are just sorry they got caught. They've done it before and they will do it again.
Did you notice the CC DEPUTY JAILER!!!