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HomeNewsGrovetown Police Arrest 3 Who Wanted to Pay for Sex with Juvenile

Grovetown Police Arrest 3 Who Wanted to Pay for Sex with Juvenile

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Grovetown police have arrested three people for trying to meet a 14-year-old child for paid sex, part of a large weekend operation expected to yield additional suspects.

Rubicel Casto-Cruz, 33, of Edgefield, S.C., Anthony Daquan Harley, 30, of Aiken, S.C., and James Charles Waller, 31, of Evans, were all charged with sexual exploitation of children and booked into the Columbia County Detention Center.

The arrests were part of “Operation Sweet Tee,” a joint operation the Grovetown Police Department conducted alongside the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force. It targeted online child predators, according to Grovetown Police Chief Jamey Kitchens.

Undercover agents and investigators engaged online with over 1,000 individuals between Thursday and Sunday. They counted 157 verified adults who expressed a desire to meet for sexual activity, despite being advised that they were conversing with a “child,” the chief said.

“Of that number, 12 individuals stated that they would be willing to travel to meet with the ‘child’ for sex and offered payment in exchange,” Chief Kitchens said. “Some of the individuals engaging in the chats were identified as living as far away as Chattanooga, Tennessee.”

The investigation continues and additional charges are expected. Multiple electronic devices and two vehicles were seized as part of the operation, the chief said.

In addition, an out-of-state registered sex offender was identified as one of the individuals attempting to arrange a meeting for sex with the “child” and a warrant has been issued for them as well. Investigators are working to positively identify the remaining individuals engaged in the solicitation and additional charges and arrests are expected.

Chief Kitchens said several other agencies assisted in the operation, including the Army Criminal Investigations Division, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Community Supervision, Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Navy Criminal Investigative Service, Polk County Police Department and Waynesboro Police Department.

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Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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