VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Fourteen people, including a local university dean, have been arrested in Operation Broken Arrow, a sting operation targeting online child predators and child traffickers.
The 4-day operation was coordinated by the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit , the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, and the Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office.
The suspects arrested are facing multiple charges including child pornography and human trafficking.
Operation Broken Arrow was a four-day proactive effort centered in Valdosta. Investigators say the arrestees, ranging in age from 24 to 57, traveled from areas around South Georgia with the intent to meet a child for sex.
Every individual arrested during the operation believed they were going to a location to meet with a child and engage in prearranged sex acts.
The following people were arrested and charged in Lowndes County as part of “Operation Broken Arrow”:
1. Dave Vincent Almon, W/M, 43, retail manager
2. Billy Stephen Carter, W/M, 57, truck driver
3. Eric Bernard Copeland, B/M, press operator
4. Walter Lee Curry, B/M, 33, laborer
5. Jamian Hogan, B/M, 34, retail associate
6. John Henry Hursey, W/M, 45, carpenter
7. Eugene Andega Mainah, B/M, 35, unemployed
8. Keith Morrison, B/M, 43, truck driver
9. Wyman Rene Phillips, W/M, 36, electrician
10. Wilford Sermons, B/M, 28, customer service representative
11. Josue Trejo, H/M, 31, forklift driver
12. Bronson Jamari D. Tripp, B/M, 24, retail associate
13. Keith Walters, W/M, 44, university Ddean at Valdosta State University
14. Justin Na’eem Warren, B/M, 24, student
Valdosta State University confirms that Dr. Keith A. Waters, the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, has been placed on administrative leave following his arrest on "very disturbing" allegations. They released the following statement to ABC 27:
Valdosta State University has placed Keith Walters on immediate administrative leave pending the outcome of internal and law enforcement investigations into these very disturbing allegations. VSU remains committed to assisting law enforcement’s investigation in any way.
Along with those agencies who participated in the planning and coordinating of the operation, sixteen (16) additional law enforcement agencies participated in “Operation Broken Arrow” as members of the Georgia ICAC Task Force. These agencies were:
1. Alpharetta Police Department
2. Atlanta Police Department
3. Floyd County Police Department
4. Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office
5. GBI-Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC)
6. Glynn County Police Department
7. Gwinnett County Police Department
8. Hall County Sheriff’s Office
9. Homeland Security Investigations
10. Johns Creek Police Department
11. Lilburn Police Department
12. Marietta Police Department
13. Polk County Police Department
14. Savannah Police Department
15. United States Air Force - Office of Special Investigations
16. Woodstock Police Department