x
Breaking News
More () »

Atlanta's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Atlanta, Georgia | 11alive.com

24 indicted in massive child sex sting 'Operation Interception'

The sting took place during a five-day period around the Super Bowl earlier this year in Atlanta

A DeKalb County Grand Jury has indicted 24 people for allegedly soliciting minors for sex in connection with a multi-jurisdictional operation titled, “Operation Interception.”

Each of the defendants, ranging in age from 20 to 55 at the time of the crime, is charged with at least one count of utilizing an electronic device to seduce, solicit, or entice a child, in separate indictments returned by Grand Jurors last Thursday. 

Other charges, including human trafficking, criminal attempt to commit aggravated child molestation, and obscene internet contact with a child, vary per defendant, the DeKalb County District Attorney's office told 11Alive in a news release. 

The charges against  defendants stem from a five-day undercover operation based in Brookhaven beginning Jan. 30, spanning the course of Super Bowl weekend, held in Atlanta, the DA's office said.

According to the investigation, the men contacted decoys online, believing they were 14-year-old children, and either engaged in sexually explicit conversations with them and/or distributed obscene photographs to them.

The DA's office said many traveled to Brookhaven with the intent of meeting a child for sex. They were instead arrested by undercover agents after arriving at the designated meeting location.

One of the men arrested was 32-year-old Thomas Cheung, a gaming employee from metro-Atlanta and a Twitch partner. According to the DeKalb County Police arrest warrant, Cheung thought he was talking to a 14-year-old girl through the dating app, Whisper, but it was actually an undercover agent.

RELATED: Hi-Rez Studios fires gaming employee reportedly arrested in Super Bowl sex sting

Most of the men were arrested during the five-day period beginning Jan. 30. Three other men -- Tony Brady, Dennis Harrish and Miguel Aguilar-Zargoza -- were arrested in May as part of the ongoing investigation, according to the DeKalb County District Attorney's office.

Following indictment, the defendants will now be scheduled for arraignment and later, trial. The cases are being prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Sexual Exploitation and Crimes Against Children Unit, which conducted an extensive pre-indictment investigation.

RELATED: This suburban dad paid for sex with 25 girls. Why?

The list of the defendants,  the charges on which they were indicted, and their occupations at the time of arrest are outlined as follows, in information provided by the DeKalb District Attorney:

Aguilar-Zaragoza, Miguel, 25
Occupation not available
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child
Obscene Internet Contact with a Child

Bowen, Nicholas Alexander, 30
Ride sharing and delivery driver  
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Brady, Tony, 41
Occupation not available
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child
Obscene Internet Contact with a Child

Cheung, Thomas Ho-Yan, 33
gaming studio employee  (more info)
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Collins, Jeshua Elijah, 23
Deli clerk
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Fadeyi, Tunde James, 56
Unemployed
Trafficking a Person for Sexual Servitude
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Gonzalez-Amaya, Walter Antonio, 23
Maintenance worker 
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child
Obscene Internet Contact with a Child
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child
Obscene Internet Contact with a Child

Gordon, Larry Allen, 32
Fast food restaurant employee 
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Gourdine, Zachary Tye, 29
Crane operator 
Trafficking a Person for Sexual Servitude
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Graham, Dylan Michael, 28
Elevator mechanic 
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child
Obscene Internet Contact with a Child
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child
Obscene Internet Contact with a Child

Harrish, Dennis Joseph, 35
Occupation not available
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child
Obscene Internet Contact with a Child

Hyder, Richard Jason, 42
Asphalt grinding contractor 
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Kennedy, Mitchell Alle, 25
Software company creative assistant  
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child
Obscene Internet Contact with a Child

Lalani, Raheem, 27
Unemployed
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Mendoza-Escalante, Marco, 21
Paving technician 
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Menjivar-Fernandez, Darwin J, 23
Restaurant server 
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Ramirez-Salgado, Oscar, 40
Construction worker 
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Sanchez, Juan Manuel, 26
Automobile mechanic  
Trafficking a Person for Sexual Servitude
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Timoteus, Junior Cornelius, 26
Restaurant server
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Valencia-Patino, Juan, 23
Student
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Walters, Tarno, 23
Grocery store employee 
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child
Obscene Internet Contact with a Child

Williams, Kyle Alexander, 32
Warehouse employee 
Criminal Attempt to Commit Aggravated Child Molestation
Criminal Attempt to Commit Statutory Rape
Criminal Attempt to Commit Child Molestation
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child
Obscene Internet Contact with a Child
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child
Obscene Internet Contact with a Child

Wilson, Robert Tyler, 32
Automotive service technician 
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

Whynot, Dylan Golding, 33
Behavioral health case manager 
Utilizing an Electronic Device to Seduce, Solicit or Entice a Child

MORE HEADLINES:

 'Motivation' is in jail for sex trafficking; hear his warning to parents

While human trafficking is a major problem, creating a panic with false reports is counterproductive

Sheriff: More than 100 people arrested in human trafficking investigation

15 arrested during human trafficking sting at metro Atlanta hotel

Sex predator watchdog group may be at odds with police