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Referee arrested in Cherokee underage internet sex sting kills himself after release

He had not been convicted.
Credit: 11Alive
Brent Parton, 38, Canton, Ga

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — One of the two men arrested in the Cherokee Sheriff's Office underage online sex investigation committed suicide, according to Cherokee authorities.  

Authorities confirm 38-year-old Brent Parton committed suicide on Monday after he was released on bond.

Parton was from Canon, Georgia and was at the center of a four-week-long undercover investigation.

He thought he was talking with a 12-year-old girl over the Internet when, in reality, he was also talking to undercover agents.

After authorities secured the proper warrants, they arrested Parton during a traffic stop on Knox Bridge Highway. 

MORE: He thought he was talking to a 12-year-old online. They came to arrest him in a fake taxi.

Director Jay Baker said Parton was charged with two counts of Obscene Internet Contact with Children and Sexual Exploitation of Children back in February. 

Parton was a recreation league basketball referee with the Cherokee County Parks and Recreations center, however the recreation center contracts referees through a private company, according to Baker.

"It's my understanding he was a referee for that organization and did pass a background check for that position," wrote Baker.

OTHER: Ohio man who brought chicken Alfredo, Sprite to underage sex sting sentenced to jail time