Columbus man arrested in federal child exploitation investigation

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COLUMBUS, Ga. — A total of 31 people, including a Columbus man, have been arrested after a coordinated operation between Georgia and Alabama law enforcement agencies.

In Georgia, 21 people have been arrested during the Operation Southern Impact.

Among those arrested is 56-year-old Kerry Williams of Columbus who is charged with ten counts of sexual exploitation of children.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says a total of 54 search warrants were executed in Georgia and Alabama. Law enforcement officers conducting the searches were looking for evidence of possession and distribution of child pornography using the internet as well as evidence of other child exploitation related crimes. Over the course of the operation, 162 digital devices were examined and 731 digital media and devices were seized as evidence in Georgia and Alabama.


FULL OPERATION SOUTHERN IMPACT RELEASE


The arrestees, ranged in age from 22 to 73. Some of their occupations included students, engineer, small business owner, store clerk, mechanic and military cybersecurity personnel. Those in custody and charged in Georgia as part of Operation Southern Impact are:

  1. David Potts, W/M, Cumming, GA, 61 years of age, retired
  2. Tyler Quarles, W/M, Winterville, GA, 24 years of age, store clerk
  3. Parker Hoekstra, W/M, Smyrna, GA, 22 years of age, student
  4. Robert Peters, W/M, Winston, GA, 73 years of age, retired
  5. Kenneth Flowers, W/M, Dallas, GA, 54 years of age, engineer/small business owner
  6. Corey Moore, B/M, Savannah, GA, 38 years of age, unemployed
  7. Ray Powers III, W/M, Warner Robbins, 27 years of age, manufacturing employee
  8. Russell Love, Jr., W/M, Swainsboro, GA, 48 years of age, unemployed
  9. Kevin Tanner, W/M, Kite, GA, 40 years of age, production line worker
  10. Dwight Watson, W/M, Canton, GA, 43 years of age, addiction counseling pastor
  11. Jonathan Hurwitz, W/M, Evans, GA, 48 years of age, military cybersecurity personnel
  12. Benjamin Brinker, W/M, Lawrenceville, GA, 30 years of age, construction
  13. Daniel Ridley, W/M, Cornelia, GA, 34 years of age, fencing company employee
  14. Kerry Williams, W/M, Columbus, GA, 56 years of age, mechanic
  15. Roger McDonald, W/M, Valdosta, GA, 61 years of age, Registered Nurse
  16. Shane Murphy, W/M, Winder, GA, 37 years of age, unemployed
  17. Jason Herrin, W/M, of Douglasville, GA, 27 years of age, restaurant employee
  18. Erik Nateras, H/M, of Atlanta, GA, 27 years of age, unknown

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