DECATUR — A Conyers man was one of 14 individuals arrested in an undercover investigation headed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Kahsi Butler, 31, was arrested during the four-day operation named Operation Broken Heart that began Wednesday. He was charged with child exploitation.
According to the press release from the GBI, the investigation was conducted by the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit and the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
“Operation Broken Heart” was a four-day effort that centered in DeKalb County, although the 14 people arrested allegedly traveled from all parts of northern Georgia with the intent to meet a child for sex. In addition to Butler, who is a musician, some of the other arrestees include an educator, engineer, salesman, business owner, laborer and software developer, the GBI stated.
“The purpose of Operation Broken Heart was to arrest persons who communicate with children online and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex,” the press release states. “Online child predators visit chat rooms and websites on the Internet, find children, begin having conversations with them, introduce sexual content and arrange a meeting with the children for the purpose of having sex.”
The proactive online investigation was a coordinated effort among 37 law enforcement agencies, including the Newton County Sheriff’s Office and the Conyers Police Department, to combat this activity.
The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the U. S. Department of Justice and managed and operated by the GBI in Georgia, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases.
The ICAC Program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims. By helping state and local law enforcement agencies develop effective and sustainable responses to online child victimization and child pornography, the ICAC program delivers national resources at the local level, the press release states.
The following were arrested and charged in DeKalb County as part of Operation Broken Heart:
Kahsi Butler, 31, of Conyers (musician)
Fred Gregory Chatham, 64, of Griffin (field tech)
Benjamin Hopson, 21, of Lithonia (grocery store employee)
John Benjamin Katz, 29, of Fairburn (drafter)
Cheney Li, 22, of Atlanta (software developer)
John McGill, 56, of Villa Rica (elementary school principal)
J. B. Owen, 58, of Canton (VP of ambulance service)
Marc Matthew Peterson, 38, of Acworth (culinary business manager)
Tiana Cousteau Reese, 38, of College Park
Tracy Antonio Solomon, 50, of Stockbridge (airport crew outfitter)
Choon Hong David Tan, 52, of Johns Creek (engineer)
Richard Roger Tumlin, 49, of Winder (load operator)
Kenneth Walker, 48, of Winder (sales)
Dane Andrew Wolfe, 34, of Snellville (driver)