More than 50 people were recently arrested as part of sex trafficking sting operations conducted by federal, state and local law enforcement — including Brookhaven and Dunwoody Police — in the days around Super Bowl 53.
Twenty-one suspects were arrested in Brookhaven and charged with soliciting sex with minors over the internet and other charges as part of Georgia Bureau of Investigation undercover operation held between Jan. 30 and Feb. 3.
In a separate operation, 32 people were arrested in Dunwoody between Jan. 28 and Feb. 4 and face sex charges ranging from prostitution to enticing a child for indecent purposes.
In Brookhaven, “Operation Interception,” coordinated by the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the GBI, the Brookhaven Police Department and dozens of other area agencies, netted the 21 arrests as suspects drove into the city to allegedly meet up with minors for sex, according Brookhaven Police Interim Deputy Police Chief Brandon Gurley.
BPD have nearly 50 license plate readers throughout the city, which were used to identify the suspects as they entered the city limits.
“The suspects were coming to a location in Brookhaven to have sex with a minor … and LPRs alerted officers as they entered the city to follow through with their plans,” Gurley said.
Task force members based the undercover operation’s headquarters out of Brookhaven at an unidentified location, Gurley said. The investigation took approximately one year to plan and coordinate, he said.
Twenty of the people arrested were charged with violating the Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007. The suspects were identified after they responded to Task Force investigators posing as minors on dating apps, the GBI stated in a news release.
One person was also charged with human trafficking after he agreed to purchase sex from a Task Force member posing as a minor on a website known for advertising for the sex industry, according to the GBI.
More arrests and charges are possible, according to the GBI. Most of the suspects are from metro Atlanta.
Thirty-two people were arrested in the city of Dunwoody as part of an investigation conducted by the FBI’s Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force, Gwinnett County Police Vice Unit and Dunwoody Police.
Of the 32 people arrested, 19 are charged with prostitution; one is charged with human trafficking; nine are charged with pimping; one is charged with enticing a child for indecent purposes; and two are charged with pandering.
Two people were rescued from sex trafficking, according to a Dunwoody Police news release.