Sentencing and Guilty Plea in Two "Operation End Game" Child Sexual Exploitation Cases
MACON, Ga. — Two defendants arrested during “Operation End Game,” a multi-agency effort targeting and arresting adult perpetrators seeking sex with children, made appearances in federal court Wednesday, said Charlie Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Andrew Leo Schafer, 53, of Winder, Georgia previously pleaded guilty to one count of use of facilities in interstate and foreign commerce to transmit information about a minor and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal on March 4, 2020 to 46 months in prison and ten years of supervised release. Schafer is currently in federal custody, and once he finishes serving his sentence, he will be required to register as a sex offender and undergo computer and phone monitoring. Fredrick Lamar Smith, 28, of Royston, Georgia entered a guilty plea to one count of use of facilities in interstate and foreign commerce to transmit information about a minor and faces a maximum five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and at least three years supervised release. Smith remains in federal custody and will be sentenced in Athens, Georgia on June 3, 2020. There is no parole in the federal system.
“These cases are about protecting children. The defendants both made explicit attempts to have sex with a person they believed was a 14-year-old child, but was in actuality an undercover officer working to stop child sex predators. This office will continue to criminally prosecute adults who seek sexual gratification from children,” said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler. “I want to thank our law enforcement partners for their collective efforts to stop would-be child predators from harming young children.”
“Operation End Game did exactly what it was tasked to do: Put an end to criminal attempts of predators to irreversibly harm young children,” said Debbie Garner, GBI Special Agent in Charge and Commander of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. “The GBI and the Georgia ICAC Task Force will work tirelessly with our partners to protect our children against those who seek to harm them.”
“This sentencing and guilty plea are indicative of the FBI’s commitment, along with our federal, state and local partners, to prosecute anyone who would seek sexual gratification from taking advantage of children,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Our message to these predators is you cannot hide behind the ‘anonymity’ of the internet.”
“Operation End Game” was a three-day proactive effort centered in Athens, Georgia in July 2019 to arrest adults communicating with children on-line and then traveling to meet them for the purpose of having sex. The cases were investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit (CEACC), the Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD), the FBI, and the Athens-Clarke County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lyndie Freeman is prosecuting the case for the Government. Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362. The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.