Georgia Arrest

Georgia Arrest

U.S. Department of Justice Announces Strategy to Enhance Efforts to Combat Child Exploitation
Additional Resources, Improved Cooperation with State and Local Partners Lead to Two Arrests and Three Sentencings for Child Exploitation Crimes Within Past Week

ATLANTA—On Monday, August 2, 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Department of Justice’s National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction, a series of initiatives aimed at combating the rising tide of child exploitation crimes. The National Strategy identifies several areas of particular concern for law enforcement and prosecutive agencies, including the increased availability of child pornography, the growth of online enticement of minors, and the flourishing child sex tourism industry. In related remarks, Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler announced the creation of dozens of new positions for federal prosecutors dedicated to the handling of child exploitation cases.

“Protecting our children from these predators has been and will remain one of my office’s highest priorities. The Attorney General’s National Strategy will help us build upon a highly successful federal-local law enforcement partnership that has resulted in dozens of child exploitation prosecutions over the past two years,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “As these cases demonstrate, the threat facing our children is significant and comes from all corners of society. While our work has been effective and impacted the problem, there is, sadly, much more to be done.”

Atlanta FBI Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Lamkin said, “The FBI is well suited to conduct the complex, multi-jurisdictional investigations that often arise in child predator and child exploitation matters. With the increased use of computers and the Internet as tools, these predators can emerge from any of the four corners of the map. The investigative network built by the FBI, in conjunction with its many and varied law enforcement partners, is critical to developing these cases for prosecution. The protection of America’s children is clearly a priority and the FBI is proud of the role it and its partners play in this effort.”

The FBI currently operates two task forces in the greater Atlanta metro area dedicated to investigating child sex crimes. The Safe Child Task Force, headquartered in Atlanta and with a unit based in Dalton, brings together investigators from the police departments of Alpharetta, Dalton, Duluth, Henry County, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville, Rossville, Roswell, and Sandy Springs and the sheriff’s offices of Catoosa County, Dade County, Newton County, and Whitfield County to target distributors of child pornography and online child predators. The Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force (MATCH), which combats the commercial sexual exploitation of children at the local level, combines the resources of the police departments from Atlanta, Marietta, Sandy Springs and Gwinnett County.

In conjunction with the Attorney General’s announcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announces the following developments in child exploitation prosecutions and investigations in the Northern District of Georgia:

Today, GREGORY HUNTER, 50, of Mt. Airy, Georgia, a former Baptist minister who conspired with another individual to produce pornographic webcasts of a 9-year-old girl, was sentenced by United States District Judge Richard W. Story to 18 years in federal prison, followed by supervised release for the rest of his life. The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brent Gray.

Today, LAWRENCE PRUITT, 27, of Central Islip, New York, and MARVIS HARRIS, 27, of Columbia, South Carolina, were sentenced by United States District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr., for their roles in the sex trafficking of a minor. PRUITT received a sentence of 10 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release; and HARRIS received sentence of four years in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release. PRUITT, HARRIS, and a fugitive co-defendant advertised their victim on the Craigslist website and caused her to engage in commercial sex acts with approximately 13 men in just two days. Agents from the MATCH task force are continuing their hunt for the third defendant. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Richard Moultrie and Nekia Hackworth.

Today, JAMES ROBERTS, 44, of Cumming, Georgia was sentenced by United States District Judge Richard W. Story to eight years in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for amassing a collection of over 100,000 images and videos of child pornography. The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jill Steinberg.

This past weekend, on August 1, 2010, agents of the Northwest Georgia unit of the Safe Child Task Force arrested MICHAEL YOUNG, 46, of Dunwoody, Georgia, the manager of an Atlanta-based trucking company, when he arrived at a hotel in Ringgold, Georgia to have sex with a 12-year-old girl, a rendezvous he had arranged over the Internet. This was the unit’s 14th such arrest since May of this year.

Last week, on July 29, 2010, agents of the same Dalton-based Northwest Georgia unit of the Safe Child Task Force arrested JAMES LAMPRU, 25, of Atlanta, Georgia, when he showed up at a hotel in Chickamauga, Georgia for a meeting with a 12-year-old girl expecting to have sex her. LAMPRU was employed as a security guard at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.

Last week, MARK STEVENS, 42, of Marietta, Georgia, an IT specialist from Bull Realty, pleaded guilty to attempting to entice over the Internet an 8-year-old girl to have sex with him. STEVENS faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, and is scheduled to be sentenced before United States District Court Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr., on October 14, 2010. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert McBurney.

Also last week, on July 27, 2010, PHILIP EMANUEL, 45, of Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty to receiving and possessing child pornography, to include images in which he inserted the face of a neighborhood girl. EMANUEL faces a minimum sentence of five years in federal prison, and is scheduled to be sentenced before United States District Court Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr., on October 6, 2010. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeff Brown.

Last month, on July 12, 2010, ADAM LEBOWITZ, 50, of Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced by United States District Judge Richard W. Story to over 26 years’ imprisonment for producing child pornography and attempting to coerce and entice a minor to engage in unlawful sex acts. LEBOWITZ was an emergency room physician at Grady Hospital. The case was investigated by the FBI, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, the Clayton County Police Department, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), with assistance from the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Computer Forensics Division and the Coweta County District Attorney’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Richard Moultrie and Rodney Bullard.
http://atlanta.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel10/at080510a.htm

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