4 arrested, including police officer, after child exploitation investigation in Butts County

A child exploitation investigation in Butts County, initiated by a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, has led to the arrest of four individuals, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The GBI's Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, in collaboration with the Butts County Sheriff's Office, executed multiple search warrants in Butts County starting on May 23. As a result of the investigation, Heather Clark has been issued warrants for Sexual Exploitation of Children. Clark, who was reportedlyy aided by Christopher Taylor and Breonna Jones, attempted to evade arrest by traveling to another state and concealing evidence of their crimes. However, through the joint efforts of multiple agencies, including the GBI, Butts County Sheriff's Office, FBI, and United States Marshals Service, Taylor and Clark were apprehended on May 26 in Horry County, South Carolina.

The GBI agents and Butts County deputies involved in the investigation seized electronic devices, which were subsequently examined forensically by GBI digital forensic investigators. The examination of the evidence revealed that Clark had been producing and distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material. The individuals arrested in connection with this case are as follows:

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April Burns (Butts County Sheriff's Office)

Heather Clark, 29, charged with 3 counts of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Distribution of Child Pornography) and 1 count of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Production of Child Pornography).

April Burns, 52 charged with False Statements and Writings, as well as being an accomplice to the Crime of Sexual Exploitation of Children (Production of Child Pornography).

Christopher Taylor, 31, charged with Hindering Apprehension of a Criminal and Obstruction.

Breonna Jones, 30, charged with Hindering Apprehension of a Criminal and Child Molestation.

Currently, Clark and Jones are in custody in South Carolina, awaiting extradition back to Butts County.

Gwinnett County Police Department has confirmed that Jones is a former police officer. She was fired after Chief McClure discovered she had been arrested. The Internal Affairs Unit took possession on Jones' gun, badge, patrol car, uniform and all other county-issued police equipment.

Jones was hired on October 7, 2019, and graduated from the 105th Police Academy on March 18, 2020.  She served a military deployment from August 21, 2021, to January 10, 2023, and returned to full-duty status with the police department on January 11, 2023.

According to a statement provided to FOX 5 Atlanta, Chief McClure 

If anyone possesses information relating to these cases or any other instances of child exploitation, they are urged to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Unit at 404-270-8870. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by utilizing the See Something, Send Something mobile app.