12 arrested in ‘Operation Heartbreak’ sting targeting child predators in Georgia

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COLQUITT COUNTY, Ga. — Law enforcement agencies arrested a dozen people as part of an undercover operation targeting online child predators in Georgia.

“Operation Heartbreak” launched last week and officials arrested 12 suspects over three days.

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The GBI said the people arrested thought they were going to meet a child they had enticed for sexual acts. Instead, the suspects were met by police and deputies and taken into custody.

Several agencies assisted with “Operation Heartbreak,” including Gwinnett County police, Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Roswell police, Moultrie police, Thomas County Sheriff’s Office and Thomasville police.


“Operation Heartbreak” aimed at identifying people who contact children on the internet to arrange meetings with them and travel to have sex.

The operation also targeted predators willing to exploit children by purchasing sex with a minor.

The GBI said investigators had more than 69 exchanges with people on social media and other internet platforms who thought they were talking with minors.

The following 12 people were charged and booked into the Colquitt County Jail.

  • Michael Eugene Hobbs: age 65, Occupation - Computer Programmer
  • Jontravious Taylor: age 23, Occupation - Meat Packer
  • Stephen Butler: age 45, Occupation - Industrial Painter
  • Zacchaeus Emmanuel Hawkins: age 38, Occupation - Salesman
  • Maurice Edward Kluge: age 55, Occupation - Construction Worker
  • Jimmy Lee Lairsey: age 46, Occupation - Self-Employed
  • Melquis Eduardo Gomez Sandoval: age 24, Occupation - Roofer
  • Denwood Lawton Jr: age 25, Occupation - Maintenance Worker
  • Jorge Jimenez Ramirez: age 26, Occupation - Unknown
  • Clines Thomas Rowell: age 23, Occupation - Farmer
  • Garry Miles Wiggins: age 56, Occupation - Public Works
  • Kenneth Edward Wilson: age 41, Occupation - Store Manager

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