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Bus driver faces child porn charges

Oakwood man has served as chaplain, group leader

POSTED: March 25, 2010 10:34 p.m.
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John Spinks

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A Hall County school bus driver and self-described “Patriot Preacher” was arrested Thursday on child pornography charges, authorities said.

John Cooper Spinks, 41, was arrested at his Oakwood home after FBI agents carried out a search warrant there early Thursday morning, Special Agent Steve Emmett said.

Emmett said Spinks tried to trade child pornography during online chats with undercover officers. He was arrested on federal charges related to the receipt, possession and distribution of child pornography.

Hall County Schools spokesman Gordon Higgins said Spinks has driven for the school system since 2006. He drove a route that covered McEver Elementary, West Hall Middle and West Hall High.

Spinks passed a criminal background check and was regarded by transportation officials as a good employee before his arrest, Higgins said. He is on administrative leave from the school system pending the outcome of his case.

Spinks also was vice president and chaplain of Christian Men for America, which organized three “God and Country” rallies last year at Hall County churches. Georgia gubernatorial candidates Nathan Deal, John Oxendine and Eric Johnson were among the invited speakers who attended the rallies.

Spinks was formerly a senior pastor with Center Grove Baptist Church in Pendergrass, where he preached from February 2008 until June 2009, according to his Web site, “Waiting For The Shout! Rev. John C. Spinks Evangelistic Ministries.”

He had his first appearance before a U.S. magistrate Thursday in Atlanta and is being held at a pretrial detention facility without bond.
Emmett said Spinks’ arrest was part of an ongoing Crimes Against Children initiative.

“It’s part of what the FBI does to try to protect children from predators who would take advantage of them or exploit them over the Internet,” Emmett said.



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