A program known as Internet Crimes Against Children leads to hundreds of arrests for online solicitation and child pornography in Georgia every year. A recent three-month sweep led to 23 arrests across the state.
The Savannah Morning News has the story.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation heads up the federal program in Georgia which began in 2002. Across the state, there are nearly 100 affiliate police agencies involved in the program. In many cases, police use tactics similar to those seen on the popular television show “To Catch a Predator.” Agents pretending to be underage girls will engage in conversation with men in online chat rooms. Sometimes these conversations will turn sexual in nature and the men may ask to meet the underage girl for sex. When the men show up at the meeting spot, police will make the arrest.
There are about 700 such arrests every year in Georgia. Police maintain that there is no entrapment, since the officers only respond to whatever the men in the chat room initiate. Additionally, officers claim that it is always the men who urge a meeting.
Some of our clients, however, were entrapped and falsely charged. That’s why it is vital to have retain a criminal defense lawyer with experience in this area if you are charged with this type of offense.
The GBI program also attempts to target anyone who possesses, distributes, or manufactures child pornography, and agents here are interconnected with law enforcement all over the nation. Tips flow into the GBI’s Atlanta office from all over the nation which are then forwarded to local police. Many times child pornography will be found on a computer in another state which came from Georgia. In some cases, they are able to trace where the pornography came from by using IP addresses to track down those who share child pornography online. When child pornography is suspected, officers will seize hard drives and search for any trace of illegal pornography.
Our firm has been extraordinarily successful in resolving these cases prior to trial so that our clients avoid prison time and, in some cases, even avoid prosecution. Our best results occur when we can get involved in the case early and review the computer forensics and alleged probable cause that led to the search.
Pate & Brody is an accomplished Georgia law firm with offices in Atlanta, Macon and Madison. Our lawyers are dedicated to pursuing justice for people charged with serious crimes. We have successfully represented clients facing serious federal criminal charges and state criminal charges in courts across Georgia. Our lawyers have been recognized on the list of Georgia’s “Super Lawyers”, and included among Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend Magazine.