SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WCIV/AP) - Sheriff's officials in east Georgia say five men have been arrested in a four-month long child sex investigation.
Effingham County sheriff's spokesman David Ehsanipoor says the sheriff's office targeted people who were using the Internet to try meeting children for sex and share child pornography.
The sting operation was called "Broken Candy." It started in May as kids in school took their summer breaks, officials said.
Authorities say a 36-year-old Savannah man and a 42-year-old North Charleston, South Carolina man were arrested when they traveled to Effingham Count thinking they'd be meeting children for sex.
"On July 4, 2014, Merle Singletary, 42, of North Charleston South Carolina traveled to a location in Effingham County where he also thought he was meeting a small child for sex but instead was greeted by Effingham Sheriff's Investigators," Sheriff's spokesman David Ehsanipoor said.
During the investigation Singletary discussed his desire to have sex with small children and participate in incest, Ehsanipoor said.
Ehsanipoor says three other Georgia men between 31 and 59 years old were arrested at their homes and have been charged with sexual exploitation of children after downloading and sharing child pornography online.
David May, 59, Of Bloomingdale, Arterrius, Smith, 31, of Statesboro, and Richard Krohn, 40, of Guyton, were all arrested at their homes following search warrants conducted by Sheriff's Investigators.
All three were charged with sexual exploitation of children.
"When we target those who share child pornography online, we routinely uncover offenders who are sexually abusing children or stalking them," said the sheriff's office spokesman.