Investigators: Augusta second in GA for child exploitation as crimes generate $30B a year

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- After a third man was arrested in Augusta in a multi-state child exploitation investigation that's nabbed 82 others already, the investigation continues.

So what can you do to stay more vigilant?

Terry Gore, an investigators with the child sex crimes division in Richmond County, has many.

"This is ongoing," Gore said of current investigations. "I mean, we'll make an arrest once a week."

Gore is also part of the FBI and GBI task forces.

"They just sent me four different cases right now," Gore said.

Tips roll in within minutes of each other. Gore says the workload in Richmond County is incredibly high as Augusta ranks No. 2 in Georgia for child exploitation.

"We have too many for one person," Gore said.

Gore usually works 20 cases a month in Richmond County -- double the case load he says comes out of Columbia and Burke counties.

But, Gore says exploitation is happening everywhere. Predators, these days, are using video games to find children.

"It's climbing more with technology," Gore said. "A lot of our predators are on Fortnite."

Gore's caseload includes child pornography cases and local human trafficking, too.

"We have 36 children right now that have been verified as [commercially exploited children]," Gore said.

Gore says child exploitation and human trafficking is a business making more than $30 billion a year.

"It's going to get bigger, because the money is just there, and it's not going to stop," Gore said. "But we're not going to stop either."

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