Atlanta/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 03, 2024
Columbus Man Charged in Child Sexual Exploitation Case, GBI's Ongoing CrackdownSource: GBI

A Muscogee County man has been slapped with multiple charges stemming from an alleged child sexual exploitation operation, officials said. Gabriel Hicks, who is 23 years old, faces four counts for his role in the depraved acts, as reported by FOX 5 Atlanta.

Digging into Hicks' online doings, which the GBI characterized as illicit, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit is said to have made the discovery, driving a search warrant at his Columbus residence on March 27. Alongside the Special Response Team from the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, agents descended on Hick's home. Following the raid, Hicks found himself behind bars at the Muscogee County Jail, detailed by WSB-TV.

This troubling case forms part of a wider crackdown on such nefarious online activities under the umbrella of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The task force is a branch under the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, put in place to stem the tide of child sexual abuse material and thwart the sordid efforts of online predators preying on the vulnerable.

With an active role in the investigation, the GBI has issued a call to arms for the public, urging anyone with potentially vital intelligence regarding other suspected cases of child exploitation to come forward. Informants are prompted to reach out directly to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit at 404-270-8870, or by relaying information anonymously via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline at CyberTipline.org, as encouraged by FOX 5 Atlanta.