Officer set up sex sting at Lawrenceville home for 'Operation Sp - CBS46 News

Officer set up sex sting at Lawrenceville home for 'Operation Spring Cleaning'

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Gwinnett County Police said 23 men attempted to meet children in Lawrenceville for sex. The men, who were arrested last week, come from all different backgrounds and professions.

CBS46 News has learned it took 80 officers from 17 agencies across the state to pull off the sting named "Operation Spring Cleaning."

"I always thought when we started out that it was downtown Atlanta, it was Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.," said Senator Renee Unterman. "Now lo and behold, here we are in the suburbs and it's just like any other type of vice, the problem goes with the money."

We've now learned officials set up a sting at a house in Lawrenceville. We're told the 23 defendants went there believing they were meeting a child. Officers posed as children online to make the arrests. Those busted range in age from 19 to 48 years old.

"They were white collar, they were blue collar, they were employed, they were unemployed, they were married with children, they were single, they were divorced. There is no stereotypical predator," said Gwinnett County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Tracie Cason.

The defendants are not considered opportunistic predators, meaning they weren't trying to take advantage of a child close to them. They were willing to pursue these children and drive to where they were.

"Each and every one of these defendants made a deliberate and intentional choice to travel to have sexual interaction with an individual they thought was a child," Cason said.

It's disturbing news but not surprising to parent Timothy Deaugett, who said he is extra protective of his daughter.

"We know that social media is a big tool for that kind of behavior," he said. "My daughter, she's just now at 15 years old, about to be 16, got a Facebook page."

Officials said both awareness and funding are needed to continue to fight child sex trafficking.

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