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Press Release

Sentencings in "Operation End Game" Child Exploitation Investigation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. – Two defendants arrested during “Operation End Game,” a multi-agency effort targeting and arresting adult perpetrators in the Athens-area seeking sex with children, were sentenced to prison this week for their crimes, said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal sentenced Joseph Daniel Kelly, 45, of Monroe, Georgia on Monday, August 17 to 57 months in prison and ten years supervised release and Fredrick Lamar Smith, 29, of Royston, Georgia on Tuesday, August 18 to 46 months in prison and ten years supervised release after both previously pleaded guilty to one count of use of facilities in interstate and foreign commerce to transmit information about a minor. Following their prison terms, both defendants will have to register as sex offenders. There is no parole in the federal system. 

“The punishment is prison for those caught seeking to sexually exploit minor children. Rest assured, this office is relentless in seeking the maximum punishment for criminal child predators,” said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler. “‘Operation End Game’ successfully brought into custody many individuals who were actively seeking to cause irreparable harm to minors. I want to thank the law enforcement agencies involved in this operation for protecting our state’s children.”

“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

Updated August 21, 2020

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