30 arrested in effort targeting sexual exploitation of kids

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DECATUR, Ga. (AP) – Authorities say a joint operation by law enforcement agencies in Georgia and Alabama targeting the sexual exploitation of children online has resulted in the arrest of 30 people.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Friday that planning for the effort, dubbed Operation Southern Impact, began about three months ago. It resulted in 54 warrants being served over a two-day period in the two states.

The operation focused on people who possess and distribute child pornography, as well as those who use the internet to exploit children in other ways. Authorities examined 162 digital devices.

The GBI says 17 people were arrested in Georgia and 13 in Alabama, and additional arrests are possible. Those arrested ranged in age from 22 to 73.

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