A Gainesville man traveled to meet someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl but who instead was an undercover agent working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, according to authorities.
Christopher White Batchelor, 49, was arrested in Hall County and charged with criminal attempt to commit child molestation, distributing obscene material and enticing a child for indecent purpose.
“This arrest was the result of an eight month-long undercover investigation regarding online child exploitation,” GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brian Johnston wrote in a news release.
Johnston said Batchelor was identified during Operation Rattlesnake in October 2017, an undercover investigation with Hall County authorities and the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Five people were arrested as a result of the four-day operation after the men traveled from the metro Atlanta area “with the intent to meet a child for sex.”
Johnston said they had communication with Batchelor, “but it was not to the point that we had probable cause to make the arrest.”
Batchelor was booked Thursday, June 21, in to the Hall County Jail, where he remains. No attorney information was available with court officials Friday afternoon.
Johnston said authorities use different social media platforms, chat applications, dating websites and “anything on the internet whre we have identified places where child predators go to lure kids and try to exploit them.”