4 Cobb residents accused of human trafficking: GBI

Four Cobb County residents were arrested last week and accused of human trafficking, among other charges, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Friday.

The men were arrested in Whitfield County as part of a multi-state investigation into alleged online child predators and sex trafficking, the GBI said in a news release. Thirty-five people were arrested during undercover "Operation Watchful Guardians," including 12 Georgia residents, according to the release.

Kekuta Jatta, 20, of Smyrna; Javier Lopez, 23, of Marietta; Nathan Murawski, 36, of Marietta; and Albert Stafford, 43, of Acworth, are each accused of criminal attempt to commit a felony, trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude and use/assist minor in sex explicit conduct/visual medium, the GBI said.

Lopez, Murawski and Stafford remain in custody at Whitfiled County Jail, but Jatta has since bonded out, according to jail records.

The three-day operation began Feb. 2 and focused on Dalton and Chattanooga, Tenn., according ot the GBI release.

The GBI and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) coordinated the undercover investigation, along with several county and city law enforcement agencies in Georgia and Tennessee, according to the release.

"Cooperation is always important in law enforcement, but it is never more important than when we set out to protect children," the GBI said in its release. "'Operation Watchful Guardians' has given us an opportunity to share our experience, information, and resources across units, agencies, and state lines."