The GBI caught another one.
Authorities say that a Warrenville man traveled across the river last week, thinking he was meeting up with a 14-year-old girl at an Augusta hotel.
But 42-year-old Kenneth Smith was met by a GBI agent and charged with criminal attempted child molestation and violation of the Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act. (Story continues below.)
Two arrest warrants describe the accusations. Smith allegedly used Craigslist to “lure a person who he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.” He sent her sexually explicit images in an online chat.
Next, he allegedly attempted to molest the girl, initiating the subject of sex in his online chat. Then he traveled to an Augusta hotel to “meet the person whom he thought he was communicating with online.”
The GBI has used this sting to net dozens of sexual perverts. In March, a convicted sex offender from Colorado drove over 22 hours to Georgia, thinking he was going to have sex with a 14-year-old Augusta girl, authorities said. Richard Andrew Mennemeyer, 48, of Northglenn, Colo., was charged with criminal attempted child molestation, a felony.
In 2015, nearly two dozen people – including a local jailer, a funeral home director and an extra in the TV show Glee – were arrested in Richmond County for trying to meet a child for sex. The sting was called “Operation Mayday.”
For more crime stories from the Augusta-Aiken area, pick up today’s new issue of The Jail Report.