Walton County deputy fired after arrest in child pornography sting

A Walton County deputy arrested in a statewide child pornography sting has been fired.

Walton County Chief Deputy Keith Brooks on Thursday confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Uriah McCullers was no longer with the agency. He had been with the sheriff’s office since 2004, Sheriff Joe Chapman told Channel 2 Action News.

McCullers, 37, of Bethlehem, was among 18 people arrested on child pornography charges following an investigation involving more than 30 law enforcement agencies, the GBI said Wednesday night.

Twenty-four search warrants were executed in 16 counties, with 69 digital devices being examined and 232 devices seized, GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles said. The statewide investigation, dubbed “Operation Secret Guardian,” began in July, the GBI said.

“The targets of Operation Secret Guardian were those who produce or who create the demand for production of child pornography — which is essentially photographic evidence of the sexual assault of a child,” the GBI said in an emailed statement. “By collecting and distributing this material, they create the demand for production of child pornography.”

Those arrested included a tow truck driver, an engineer, and several restaurant and fast food workers. They ranged in age from 23 to 68.