2nd Coweta suspect arrested in GBI sweep
by John A. Winters
A second Coweta County resident has been arrested as part of a statewide probe into child pornography distribution.
Donald Matthew Colbert, 26, surrendered to authorities at the Coweta County Jail on Monday and was later released on bond, according to Coweta Sheriff’s Office investigators. Colbert, who has multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair, faces six counts of child sexual exploitation.
Last week, authorities arrested a 22-year veteran detention officer at the Coweta jail, Sandy Langford, as part of “Operation Guarding Innocence.” Langford, who lives in Palmetto, was charged with one count of possession of child pornography, according to Fulton County Jail records.
Coweta Sheriff Mike Yeager said Langford has not contacted the office and they have been unable to reach her. The county is preparing a letter to send to her, but the sheriff said he wanted to wait until she received it before releasing more information.
The three-month state investigation, headed up by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, has resulted in the arrests of about 50 people on nearly 100 counts related to child pornography as of this week, authorities said.
“This is the largest operation of its kind in Georgia conducted by the state’s ICAC Task Force,” according to a GBI spokesperson. “This operation, which ran from January through March, centered on the ability of GBI agents and local affiliates that are members of the Georgia ICAC Task Force to detect specific child porn images being shared over the Internet. Ninety-eight suspects have been identified as distributing child porn over the Internet and are targeted for search warrants.”
The GBI said it has seized 187 computer hard drives or smart phones, 27 other devices such as CDs, cameras and thumb drives and completed 78 searches as of last week.
The investigation included 50 teams representing 47 federal, state and local law enforcement.
“Operation Guarding Innocence” is the largest of its kind to be executed in Georgia.
Since it was established in 2002, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has made 976 arrests in Georgia.