COVINGTON — The Newton County Sheriff’s Office is working with the Conyers Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force worked through the night Wednesday searching for two men wanted on child molestation charges, according to NCSO Public Information Officer Deputy Courtney Morrison.
"No arrests have been made yet, but we are still actively and heavily looking for them," she said. "We are not going to stop until they are found."
Late Thursday morning Morrison updated the tag number of the white pickup the two men are believed to be driving. The correct tag number is BZW9023. The original BOLO had the wrong tag information, she said.
Also, she said officers are conducting an air search of wooded areas throughout the county in an effort to see any evidence of campsites or tents.
"We have units standing by on the ground that can move in in case something is spotted," she said, adding that officers are on hand from Covington Police Department, Conyers Police Department, Homeland Security, the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Marshal's waiting to be of assistance if needed.
Morrison said law enforcement has reason to believe Donald Mac Brown, 36, of 1275 Robin Road, Conyers, and David Wesley Crawford, 57, who has no known address, are still in the area.
The two men, thought to be armed with knives and guns, may be hiding in wooded areas somewhere in Newton County, according to their families.
The U.S. Marshals Service considers the men to be armed and extremely dangerous, and members of the public are advised not to make contact with either of them, but to report any sightings or information regarding them to either Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or to the Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force at 770-508-2500. Tips will be kept anonymous. Also, anyone who has information on the whereabouts of these two fugitives can call the NCSO and speak with CID Commander lst Lt. Mark Mitchell at 675-625-1436.
“They are both aware that they are wanted and Brown has stated he will not go back to jail,” Morrison said.
Morrison said the two first came to the NCSO’s attention through the Conyers Police Department.
“We were alerted that these two offenders had possibly sexually assaulted a young child in our county,” Morrison said. “Once our investigators looked into it, we were able to gain probable cause and issue warrants.”
Brown is wanted by the Conyers Police on charges of sexual exploitation of children after pornographic images of children were found on his cellphone.
According to CPD Sgt. Chris Moon, Brown’s home was searched Nov. 28 as part of an investigation into Internet child pornography by officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
“During the course of the investigation (by ICE), it was learned that not only was he in possession of child pornography, but there was a case in Newton County in which he was molesting a 5-year-old child,” Moon said.
At the time of the ICE search of Brown’s residence, special agents reportedly learned from other residents of the house that Brown, who lived in the basement, had allegedly sent text messages to another resident in the house soliciting sex for $300.
Brown was arrested on a charge of solicitation of sodomy, a misdemeanor, and taken to the Rockdale County Jail. He was released three days later.
According to a report by the CPD, special agents seized Brown’s phone and reportedly discovered it contained numerous images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Two of the images found in the search of Brown’s home were of the 5-year-old Newton County victim, Moon said, adding that others were what appeared to be images he downloaded from the Internet.
The molestation incident allegedly occurred the latter part of November at a residence on Lower River Road, Morrison said, and the victim was known to Brown and Crawford.
Moon said Brown had been charged in an alcohol-related incident in Conyers in the past. The CPD has no charges outstanding against Crawford.
The two are both facing charges in Newton County of child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and solicitation of sodomy.
The pair are possibly driving a white 1999 Ford F-150 pickup with Georgia license plate BZW9023.
Brown is described as a white male with brown hair, blue eyes, about 6 feet tall and weighing approximately 245 pounds. Investigators said he was last known to work for a paint company in Social Circle.
Crawford is a white male with blue eyes and is predominantly bald with graying hair on the sides, weighing 135 pounds and approximately 5 feet, 5 inches tall.
The U.S. Marshals-led Southeastern Regional Fugitive Task Force is a team comprised of law enforcement officers from 31 local, state and federal agencies. The task force’s objective is to seek out and arrest the region’s most violent offenders. Since the inception of the task force in September 2003, they have closed more than 26,000 felony warrants.
Rockdale Citizen Editor Alice Queen contributed to this story.