Bryan Jack Knight, 30, was expecting to meet a 14-year-old girl when he arrived at the Conyers Ride Share parking lot a few days ago. Instead, he was arrested.
Detectives in Conyers Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division charged Knight with child exploitation and child pornography on April 29, after two months of investigating him on a social media web site.
Knight had contacted Detective Sergeant Kristen Moore on the website, believing she was a 14-year-old girl. Knight decided to ride the Express Bus from Atlanta to the Conyers Ride Share and pick up the "14-year-old girl" with whom he thought he had been communicating, police said. Knight was arrested and taken to the Rockdale County Jail. According to the Rockdale Sheriff's Office online jail information, Knight is from Blairsville.
"Social media has become so prevalent for child predators. They're not just using Facebook and the typical social media sites, there are a number of sites that are out there and we're just trying to stay on top of it," said Conyers Police spokesperson Kim Lucas.
Sgt. Moore, who led the investigation, has been with Conyers Police for nearly six years, Lucas said. Moore serves as an agent on the Internet Crimes Against Children task force with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI), which provided her with the programs and training necessary to conduct communications with perpetrators.
Lucas said Moore was part of a multi-agency team that arrested 14 people, Feb. 26 to March 1, in a GBI sting dubbed "Operation Broken Heart." The sting, conducted by 37 law enforcement agencies, focused on the use of the internet for child exploitation.
John McGill, a 56-year-old Douglasville elementary school principal was among 14 suspects arrested in the sting. The suspects ranged in age from 21 to 64.
The purpose of "Operation Broken Heart" was to arrest persons who communicate with children on-line and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex, the GBI said in a released statement. Authorities said online child predators visit chat rooms and websites on the internet, find children, begin conversations with them, introduce sexual content and arrange a meeting with the children for the purpose for having sex.