Richard Edward Hazelwood, 49, of Roswell and Austin Wayne Rhodes, 22, and Mahesh Kumar Saroj, 35, of Alpharetta were among the 24 arrested in an undercover Forsyth County child sex sting, Forsyth police say.

“Operation Just Cause” was a four-day proactive effort centered in Cumming, Forsyth County. The suspects, ranging in age from 19 to 65, traveled from areas around North Georgia, and other states, with the intent to meet a child for sex.

Hazelwood was charged with distribution of child pornography. Rhodes is being charged with illegal solicitation, entice or seduction and electronically furnishing obscene material. Kumar is being charged with child molestation, trafficking and illegal solicitation, entice or seduction.

Two people that was arrested were registered sex offenders. Twenty-nine year-old Michael Keith Coker is already a sex offender and allegedly smuggled an illegally possessed phone smuggled inside the Augusta State Prison.

Roger Kyle Nicholson, 44, of Gainesville was arrested for allegedly possessing suspected methamphetamine.

Thirty-one mobile phones were seized as evidence during the operation.

The goal of “Operation Just Cause” was to arrest persons who communicate with children on-line and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex. Additionally, the operation targeted those that are willing to exploit children by purchasing sex with a minor.

Online child predators visit chat rooms and websites on the internet, find children, begin conversations with them, introduce sexual content and arrange a meeting with the children for the purpose of having sex.

During the multi-day operation, investigators had numerous exchanges with subjects on various social media or internet platforms. Many of those were exchanges in which the subject initiated contact with whom they believed to be a minor and directed the conversation towards sex. In some of those cases, the subject introduced obscene or lewd content, often exposing the minor (undercover) to pornography or requesting the child take nude or pornographic images for them.

Although some websites promote themselves as being for “adults-only” it is not uncommon for law enforcement to work cases in which children access these sites, establish profiles claiming to be older, and then find themselves vulnerable to victimization, harassment, blackmail, or assault.

Several subjects were identified as communicating simultaneously with multiple investigators posing as minors.

The following persons were arrested and charged in Forsyth County as part of “Operation Just Cause”:

♦ Robert Harley Martin, W/M, Dahlonega, GA, 38 years of age, truck driver

♦ Erik Delgado, W/M, Gainesville, GA, 26 years of age, sales associate

♦ Alan Thomas Bryant, W/M, Murrayville, GA, 40 years of age, unemployed

♦ Kyle Alexander Williams, B/M, Stone Mountain, GA, 32 years of age, landscaper

♦ Roger Kyle Nicholson; W/M, Gainesville, GA, 44 years of age, unemployed

♦ Jacob Perry Yeamans, W/M, Madison, Wisconsin, 61 years of age

♦ Rene Mauricio Posada; W/M; Marietta, GA, 29 years of age, sales manager

♦ Jackson Cain Butler, W/M, Calhoun, GA, 20 years of age, sales

♦ John Andrew Odell, W/M, Cumming, GA, 40 years of age, truck driver

♦ Michael Keith Coker, W/M; Augusta State Prison, 29 years of age, unemployed

♦ Richard Edward Hazelwood, B/M, Roswell, GA 49 years of age, drug representative

♦ Johnathon Dale Butler, W/M, Palmall, TN, 25 years of age, unemployed

♦ Mackenzi Faye Stinson, W/F, Palmall, TN, 19 years of age, sales associate

♦ Mahesh Kumar Saroj, W/M, Alpharetta, GA, 35 years of age, Information Technology

♦ Christopher Scott Taylor, W/M, Cumming, GA, 29 years of age, construction

♦ Joseph Ryan Lisnock, W/M, Gainesville, GA, 22 years of age, Landscaper

♦ Dylan Blair Nessmith, W/M, Johns Creek, GA, 23 years of age, mechanic

♦ Austin Wayne Rhodes, W/M, Alpharetta, GA, 22 years of age, Mechanic

♦ Daniel Dennis Rogan W/M, Witchita, KS, 47 years of age, Vehicle Transporter

♦ Jason Lee McIntyre, W/M, Gainesville, GA, 35 years of age, Supervisor

♦ Gavin Austen Peppers, W/M, Bowman, GA, 21 years of age, hotel clerk

♦ Jimmy Webster Roy, W/M, Gainesville, GA, 21 years of age, mover

♦ Anthony Christian Ceja, W/M, Lawrenceville, GA, 23 years of age, laborer

♦ Steven Charles Vinnenberg W/M, Cumming, Ga. 65 years of age

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(1) comment

LUKE BRACKETT

No minor children were involved in this entrapment scheme.

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