Operation Heartbreak: 12 arrested in operation targeting child predators in Georgia

A dozen people in Georgia were arrested in an online sting targeting online child predators around the state.

"Operation Heartbreak" was a three-day online undercover investigation that started on Thursday, Feb. 10 and was centered in Moultrie, Georgia.

Officials say those arrested traveled from all across South Georgia with the intent that they were going to go meet with a child for sex.

According to investigators, the suspects often exposed the person they were chatting with to pornography or requesting the "child" produce and send sexual or pornographic images of themselves. Some suspects were identified as talking to multiple investigators posing as minors at once.

The suspects ranged in age from 23 to 65 and included occupations such as roofer and computer programmer.

The follow people were arrested in the sting operation and were booked into the Colquitt County Jail: 

  1. Michael Eugene Hobbs: age 65, Occupation - Computer Programmer
  2. Jontravious Taylor: age 23, Occupation - Meat Packer
  3. Stephen Butler:  age 45, Occupation - Industrial Painter
  4. Zacchaeus Emmanuel Hawkins:  age 38, Occupation - Salesman
  5. Maurice Edward Kluge: age 55, Occupation - Construction Worker
  6. Jimmy Lee Lairsey: age 46, Occupation - Self-Employed
  7. Melquis Eduardo Gomez Sandoval: age 24, Occupation - Roofer
  8. Denwood Lawton Jr: age 25, Occupation - Maintenance Worker
  9. Jorge Jimenez Ramirez: age 26, Occupation - Unknown 
  10. Clines Thomas Rowell:  age 23, Occupation - Farmer
  11. Garry Miles Wiggins: age 56, Occupation - Public Works
  12. Kenneth Edward Wilson: age 41, Occupation - Store Manager

Since 2014, the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has arrested over 160 people in similar undercover operations.