Five men who contacted children online and traveled from areas around metro Atlanta to meet them for sex are in jail after a months-long investigation, according to the GBI.
Drake Cook, 23, of Athens; Melo Hairapetian, 28, of Morris, Ill.; James Herndon, 58, of Flowery Branch; Anthony Jordan, 37, of Newnan; and Baribefe Monkpe, 23, of Lawrenceville, were arrested in Hall County over a four-day period beginning Thursday, GBI agent Debbie Garner said Tuesday.
Each man faces charges of computer or electronic pornography and child exploitation, according to the agency.
During the investigation, dubbed Operation Rattlesnake, authorities had nearly 300 exchanges with more than a dozen adults on social media sites, adult-only sites, dating sites and other internet platforms.
Some of the adults stopped contact after finding out they were talking to minors. Those who did not stop contact eventually directed the conversation toward sex, the GBI said.
In some cases, they also exposed children to pornography and asked them to take nude or pornographic images.
One of the suspects, Jordan, is a registered sex offender who was convicted of child molestation and statutory rape in 2003, Hall County Sheriff’s Deputy Stephen Wilbanks said.
Details of the early convictions were not immediately available.
5 arrested in child sex sting Lauren Foreman The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Oct. 10, 2017Tweet