A local gamer with thousands of followers was among the 21 men arrested in a Brookhaven child exploitation sting leading up to the Super Bowl.
Thomas Cheung, 32, of Alpharetta, is one of the suspects in “Operation Interception,” a five-day sting aimed at men who traveled from areas around metro Atlanta with the intent of meeting a child for sex, the GBI said in a statement Monday.
Cheung worked for Hi-Rez Studios, a video game developer based in Alpharetta that created the popular games Global Agenda, Smite and Tribes: Ascend.
He is also a partner with Twitch, which allows users to make money by livestreaming themselves playing video games on the increasingly popular platform, according to his LinkedIn page. His Twitter account has nearly 20,000 followers.
Hi-Rez Studios CEO Stew Chisam said in a statement that Cheung is no longer employed at the company.
“As a parent, it is difficult to imagine more disturbing allegations than those laid out in the news reports,” Chisam said.
According to DeKalb County jail records, Cheung was arrested Saturday on a charge of using a computer service to seduce, solicit, lure or entice a child to commit an illegal act. He was released on bond Wednesday.
The goal of Operation Interception was to arrest people “who communicate with children online, have sexually explicit conversations, and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex,” the GBI said. The men, ranging in age from 20 to 55, were captured in the five days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday.
Authorities made a total of 169 human trafficking-related arrests throughout metro Atlanta in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, the FBI said Tuesday.
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