Two sentenced in Athens-area federal child exploitation investigation


Joseph Daniel Kelly

By Joe Johnson

Two defendants arrested during “Operation End Game,” a multi-agency effort targeting and arresting adult perpetrators in the Athens-area seeking sex with children, were sentenced to prison this week for their crimes, according to Charles Peeler, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal on Monday sentenced Joseph Daniel Kelly, 45, of Monroe, to 57 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release.


Fredrick Lamar Smith

On Tuesday the judge sentenced 29-year-old Fredrick Lamar Smith of Royston to 46 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release.

Both men previously pleaded guilty to one count of use of facilities in interstate and foreign commerce to transmit information about a minor.

Following their prison terms, from which there is no parole in the federal judicial system, both defendants will have to register as sex offenders.

“The punishment is prison for those caught seeking to sexually exploit minor children. Rest assured, this office is relentless in seeking the maximum punishment for criminal child predators,” Peeler said. "Operation End Game’ successfully brought into custody many individuals who were actively seeking to cause irreparable harm to minors."

Operation End Game” was a three-day proactive effort centered in Athens in July 2019 to arrest adults communicating with children online and then traveling to meet them for the purpose of having sex.

The cases were investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, the FBI and the Athens-Clarke County District Attorney’s Office.

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