40 have been arrested in a Georgia pedophile sting operation-
Law enforcement agencies combine for 10-week ‘Operation Summer Heat’ in Effingham County They range in age from 17 to 57, all from Georgia and South Carolina and include a house painter, an industrial worker and an elementary school principal.
The one thing the 39 individuals have in common — they were all arrested this summer for trying to have sex with children, according to officials with the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies from the Effingham and Chatham County Sheriff’s Offices lured the men to the area over the past 10 weeks in “Operation Summer Heat” by pretending to be underage children. The suspects were arrested on felony charges of child molestation or computer pornography. The mugshots of 37 of the men were released to the public Tuesday, and two photos were not released because the men were age 17.
“This operation was designed to send a clear message from Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie and Chatham County Sheriff Johnny Wilcher that individuals who target our children for their own purposes will not be tolerated in Effingham and Chatham counties,” said Effingham Sheriff’s Investigator Joe Heath. The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office is an affiliate member of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crimes against Children Task Force.
Some of the suspects would ask, “Is this a sting?” or “You aren’t a cop, are you?” and despite their misgivings, would still arrive at sting sites where they were arrested, officials said. They would try to meet children in public places such as a park or a fast-food restaurant or more secluded places such as a private home – some place the offender would feel safe.
But instead of a young boy or girl, they would find a sheriff’s deputy, ready to make an arrest.