Whitfield County, GA
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Whitfield County is located in northwestern Georgia, on the border with Tennessee, and is home to about 104,000 residents. Within its borders are a variety of major highways including Interstate 75 and U.S. Route 41. The county seat is Dalton. Prostitution has been documented in the county, resulting in complaints to law enforcement. Due to its proximity to Tennessee, law enforcement has been known over the years to collaborate on a multitude of multi-state investigations including those on prostitution.
In addition to the reverse stings conducted in Dalton, there has been at least one county-level web-based reverse sting. In February 2016, law enforcement agencies from both Tennessee and Georgia teamed up to complete “Operation Watchful Guardians,” which targeted online predators of children, specifically those willing to purchase sex with a minor. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation participated in the operation, which was centered in Dalton and Chattanooga. In total, 35 men were arrested in the sting, including 12 in Whitfield County. Charges included criminal attempt to commit child molestation and criminal attempt to commit trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude. Following their indictment, the offenders had their names, hometowns, ages, and jobs released to media outlets.
- Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI)
- Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit
- Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office
- Dalton Police Department
- Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force
- Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC)
- Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI)
- Chattanooga Police Department
- Tennessee Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/polk_standard_journal/news/local/3-region-men-arrested-in-online-child-predator-sting-by-gbi (2016)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- https://www.local3news.com/updated-massage-parlor-arrest (2010)
- http://chattanoogacw.com/news/local/dalton-police-arrest-7-johns-in-prostitution-sting (2017)
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