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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Seven Sentenced Following A Joint Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Operation In Columbus, Georgia For Attempting To Have Sex With A Minor

COLUMBUS: United States Attorney Charles E. Peeler announces Jonathan David Jenkins, 23, of Columbus, Georgia; Collis Dwight Eaton, 48, of Midway, Alabama; Uthemes Taylor, 30, from Columbus, Georgia; Michael Andrew Everett, 22, of Columbus, Georgia; Brian A. Corcoran, 42, from Columbus, Georgia; Robert Alan Moore, 31, from Ledonia, Alabama; and Jarrod R. Long, 27, of Columbus, Georgia were sentenced April 24, 2018 to 46 months imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for Use of Facilities in Interstate and Foreign Commerce to Transmit Information about a Minor. The sentences were handed down by Chief United States District Court Judge Clay D. Land in Columbus.

On November 10, 2017, the Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted an undercover operation centered in Columbus, Georgia which targeted online child predators who were willing to pay to have sex with a child.

The seven were indicted on November 16, 2017 and entered their pleas in January 2018 following “Operation Hidden Guardian,” a proactive, online undercover investigation centered in Columbus, Georgia, which was coordinated by the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, the Columbus Police Department, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office for the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia. 

“Those sentenced today knowingly preyed on who they believed to be children,” United States Attorney Charles Peeler said. “As a citizen in the Middle District of Georgia, I am disgusted by their actions and plan to continue vigorously working with our law enforcement agencies to prosecute others who wish to do our children harm.” 

“This conviction illustrates the great work of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute crimes against children,” said GBI Director Vernon Keenan. “The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is committed to working with our local, state, and federal partners to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse cases.”

“You never know who you are communicating with on line. That’s a warning not only for parents and their children, but also for sexual predators,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Fortunately, these individuals’ activity on-line connected them with an undercover agent and they have become another example of how hard we work to protect our nation’s children.”   

Along with those agencies who participated in the planning and coordination of the operation, twelve additional law enforcement agencies participated in “Operation Hidden Guardian” as members of the Georgia ICAC Task Force. These agencies were: Federal Bureau of Investigation – Columbus Resident Agency; the United States Secret Service; Athens-Clarke County Police Department; Floyd County Police Department; Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office; Hall County Sheriff’s Office; Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC); Glynn County Police Department; LaGrange Police Department; Marietta Police Department; Polk County Police Department; and the Tallapoosa Police Department. 

Assistant United States Attorneys Crawford Seals and Melvin E. Hyde, Jr. prosecuted the case for the government.

Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated April 27, 2018