RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina State Investigators say 82 people were arrested in a multi-state child exploitation operation called "Operation Southern Impact III."
Among the 82 arrested in the massive, multi-state operation were a firefighter, a business owner and a dishwasher.
Six of those arrests came from North Carolina. Only five names have been released.
- Joshua Hall, arrested by Guilford County Sheriff's Office, charged with indecent liberties with a minor
- Christopher John Authement, arrested in Nash County by SBI, charged with 2nd degree sexual exploitation of a minor (limited information, part of an ongoing investigation)
- George Beall, arrested by Homeland Security Investigations - Charlotte, charged with federal probation violations, possession of child pornography
- David Kimball, arrested by Cary Police Department, charged with sexual exploitation of a minor
- Paul Sullivan, arrested by Cary Police Department, charged with sexual exploitation of a minor
The SBI says 17 children were rescued or identified as victims during the operation.
Task forces across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia started the planning for Operation Southern Impact III four months ago. The operation focused on persons who possess and distribute child porn and those who are sexually exploiting children on the internet.
Investigators seized over 1,600 digital devices, 203 of them were mobile phones.
SBI says those arrested ranged in age from 20 to 70 years old. Their jobs included firefighter, small business owner, IT specialist, youth minister, graphic designer and students.