MARIETTA, Ga. - Marietta Police arrested 15 sexual predators who they say are targeting our kids.
The 8-month undercover cyber investigation revealed just how easily suspect's behind a computer screen or smartphone prey on youngsters between the ages of 10 and 17.
One suspect used a disgusting craigslist ad that boasted he was a man seeking sex with "young young girls who wanted to get pregnant."
Marietta police say it proves parents don't know just how vulnerable their children are online.
"Child predators will go on-line and develop a relationship with that child, slowly over time and then introduce the concept of sex or trading sexual images. The individuals that we have arrested made arrangements to travel to meet those children with the express purpose of having sex with them, Marietta Police Officer Chuck McPhilamy said.
Those arrested were charged with violating O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.2, Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007. They include the following:
- 1. Terry Crawford, a 58-year-old male from Pine Mountain, Ga.
- 2. Johnny Crittenden, a 57-year-old male from Jonesboro, Ga.
- 3. Jose Barrera, a 20-year-old male from Kennesaw, Ga.
- 4. Justin Jones, a 42-year-old male from Marietta, Ga.
- 5. Nikolas Sims, a 23-year-old male from Conyers, Ga.
- 6. Stephen Cook, a 59-year-old male from Grayson, Ga.
- 7. James Lumpkin, a 46-year-old male from Marietta, Ga.
- 8. Christopher Braden, a 38-year-old male from Jasper, Ala.
- 9. Noe Verdugo, a 36-year-old male from Atlanta.
- 10. James Conner, a 45-year-old male from Monroe, Ga.
- 11. Thornton Barrow, a 54-year-old male from Central, SC.
- 12. David Butterworth, a 40-year-old male from Flowery Branch, Ga.
- 13. Justin Clark, a 31-year-old male from Hines, Oregon.
- 14. Mitchell Walters, a 28-year-old male from Cumming, Ga.
- 15. Keith Grogan, a 44-year-old male from Graycourt, SC.
The Marietta Police Department is committed to keeping all children safe and works to protect children from predators. The department offers free internet safety classes for children as well as adults.
Research and history show that most children will be randomly exposed to pornography and or solicited for sex through the apps on their phones or electronic devices.