Two people from Cumming and one from Dawsonville were arrested as part of a multi-state child exploitation operation across the South, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Friday.
Matthew Steven Ramski, 37, Wan Yeung Tang, 45, and Chad Sitzwohl, 35, were among the 31 in Georgia and 82 total arrested in eight southeastern states during the operation, dubbed Operation Southern Impact III, the GBI said.
The operation involved 171 law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies, the GBI said, including the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, and took four months, culminating in a three-day sting across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
The operation focused on those who possess and distribute child pornography and “those who are sexually exploiting children in other ways using technology and the internet,” the GBI said in a press release.
Additionally, 17 children were rescued or identified as victims.
The suspects were targeted from cybertips received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the GBI said, leading to search warrant executions, undercover operations, arrests and sex offender compliance verification visits.
In Georgia, most arrests involved the possession and/or distribution of child pornography, the GBI said. The operation focused on material involving infants and toddlers.
Seven of those arrested allegedly traveled to meet and have sex with a minor, according to the GBI.
“We will continue to work together to find, investigate and prosecute these predators,” said Debbie Garner, the special agent in charge of the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit and commander of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.