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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Waycross Man Sentenced To 25 Years For Production Of Child Pornography And Coercion And Enticement Of A Minor

Waycross, GA: Donnel Cornelius Shavers, 23, of Waycross, Georgia, was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in prison by Chief United States District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood following his pleas of guilty to charges of production of child pornography and the coercion and enticement of a child under the age of 18 to engage in illegal sexual activity. The prison term will be followed by a life term of supervised release. Shavers will also be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. Shavers pleaded guilty to the offenses on September 2, 2014.

United States Attorney Edward Tarver said, “This investigation again demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to aggressively prosecute individuals who are involved in predatory and exploitative acts directed at children. Clearly, the conduct of this defendant was deplorable and damaging to his victims. We cannot and will not tolerate the types of offenses he committed. His pattern of predatory behavior as one of the many disturbing components of his criminal conduct and the lengthy punishment he received from the Court is completely justified.”

“HSI investigations involving child exploitation fall under Operation Predator, and this case is a clear demonstration of why we use the title of predator for those who seek to victimize the innocent,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, acting special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Atlanta. “The defendant in this case used social media to stalk his prey, enticed them to produce child pornography and then attempted to coerce them into meeting him so he could sexually assault them. Law enforcement has identified nearly a dozen victims of this scheme.”

Ware County Sheriff Randy F. Royal said, “I am proud of our investigator who began the initial investigation, which led to Mr. Shavers’ arrest. I am prouder still of the level of support and the spirit of cooperation between our agency and Homeland Security Investigations, which afforded the manpower and resources needed to broaden the scope of the investigation so that all the victims in this case will get the opportunity for justice.”

Evidence developed during the investigation revealed that Shavers communicated via Facebook with at least 10 minors. These communications led to the production of child pornography and the eventual coercion and enticement of several minor females to engage in sex acts with him.

This prosecution was the result of a joint investigation by the Ware County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, which is a nationwide U.S. Department of Justice initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.

Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel Crumby, Karl Knoche, and Joseph Newman prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.

Updated April 21, 2015