Youth Minister, 6 others arrested in multi-day child porn sting in Floyd County

Six adults and a teenager have been arrested on multiple counts after an investigation into the production and distribution of child pornography in Floyd County.

Floyd County police said the two-day sweep, dubbed a spring-cleaning operation, targeted suspicious online activity uncovered by the Georgia Department of Investigation related to alleged child pornography in Rome, Cave Spring and surrounding area.

In their investigation, officials said they found graphic depictions of sexual acts with children between the ages of 2 and 12. The content would have been both locally created and distributed online via social media, newsgroups and other messaging apps.

(Floyd County Police Department)

In one case, police said they rescued a child from the home of a youth minister, identified as Austin Wray Perkins, who was “coaching the child how to act in videos and also engaging in acts of paedophilia”.

According to the police, the minor victim had no family and had been cared for by Perkins.

Austin Wray Perkins (Floyd County Police Department)

In total, police say they have obtained 10 search warrants for digital devices and homes in the area.

The names of the six men arrested are below. Officers also arrested a 16-year-old suspect whose identity has not been released.

  • Jackie Steve Autry, 65, of Rome, has been charged with child sexual abuse and possession of methamphetamine. He remains in jail without bail.
  • Richard Castleman, 26, of Cave Spring has been charged with computer pornography and released from jail on bail.
  • Jason Gass, 27, of Rome, has been charged with computer pornography, possession of marijuana, THC oil and drug-related items. He was released from prison on bail.
  • Tyler Johnson, 22, from Rome, was charged with computer pornography and released from prison on bail.
  • Austin Wray Perkins, a 25-year-old youth minister from Rome, has been charged with two counts of child sexual exploitation and aggravated paedophilia. He remains in jail without bail.
  • Joab Stewart, 24, from Rome, was charged with child sexual exploitation and released from prison on bail.

Investigators say more arrests are expected as the investigation continues this week.

WATCH: FOX 5 NEWS LIVE COVERAGE

Comments are closed.