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Operation Nightfall: 7 arrested in Chatham County for child sex crimes | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


Tyler Nicole and DeAmber Lowe

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — In Chatham County, seven individuals have been arrested and charged in what is being called “Operation Nightfall,” which targeted online child predators.

Authorities have arrested seven people following an online undercover child exploitation investigation in Chatham County leading many to raise questions about internet safety for minors. Operation Nightfall targeted online child predators who have the intention of meeting up with children to engage in sex acts. GBI investigators told News 3 that’s why it’s so important to monitor your child’s social media and phone access because you never know who could be on the other end. 


“Make no mistake about it. And this operation proves that there are sick people out there and predators that are looking to abuse the children in our communities, “explained Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit Brian Johnston. The investigation revealed that seven men ages ranging from 31 to 59 traveled from areas across Chatham County with the intent to meet a child and engage in sexual acts.

“We have very highly skilled and trained law enforcement investigators that are assigned to our task force that have specialized in having an undercover presence on the internet,” Johnston told News 3 “You know, this operation was put in place to identify those that are on the internet that are seeking to contact children, groom those children into sexual conversations, and ultimately arrange to meet what they believe to be as a child for the purposes of a sex act.”

During Operation Nightfall undercover investigators had more than 265 exchanges with people on various social media and internet platforms.  Johnston said this is why you must stay aware of your child’s internet access. 

“So, the internet is a very valuable tool.  It would be very difficult for us to advise that you just can’t use it, but it has to be supervised.  The Georgia ICAC Task Force received almost 30,000 cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children last year,  and a large portion of the cyber tips simply could have been prevented with parents intervening in their children’s activities on the internet,” Johnston explained.

Experts recommend creating a safe and open space for your child when it comes to communication, so they feel comfortable to share with you. 

“I think the best thing to do is just to talk to them about online safety. I think some ten-year-olds are probably ready to be safe online and some 18-year-olds might not be ready to be safe online.  So, I just think stressing online safety is the most important thing. I know there are parental restrictions that you can put on certain apps which may be helpful. But again, I think the biggest thing is just to talk to them about private online profiles, not sharing information about themselves online, and also just not meeting up with people you from, you know, that they meet online because anybody could be anyone online,” Tharros Place Outreach Coordinator Kate Templeton added.

The following people were arrested and charged beginning Friday, April 12:

  • Utkarshkumar Bhanuprasad Trivedi, 50, of Savannah, was charged with Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention, Child Molestation, Child Molestation, and Aggravated Child Molestation.
  • Lancaster Graham Jr., age 38, of Garden City, was charged with Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention, Child Molestation, and Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes.
  • Ronald Richard Alt Jr., age 31, of Savannah, charged with Computer or Electronic Pornography Child Exploitation Prevention, and Child Molestation.
  • Henry London Taylor III, age 59, of Savannah, charged with Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention, Child Molestation, Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes, Aggravated Child Molestation, and Possession of Cocaine.
  • Clifton Edward Newman, age 33, of Savannah, was charged with Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention, Child Molestation, and Aggravated Child Molestation.
  • Bobby Edward Crews-Couch Jr., age 41, of Pooler, charged with Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention, Child Molestation (Criminal Attempt), Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes, Aggravated Child Molestation, and Possession of Firearm During Felony.
  • Anthony Bernard Simmons, age 39, of Savannah, charged with Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Child Molestation, and Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes.

Additional charges and arrests may follow, officials say.

“Operation Nightfall” took several months of planning and involved the collaboration of 12 law enforcement agencies.

This investigation was coordinated by the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Savannah Police Department.

Anyone with information about these cases or other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes at 404-270-8870 or you can report via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by clicking or tapping here.



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