Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis said 45 arrests were made in an operation to root out suspected child predators and are trying to identify about 30 other potential suspects.
Deputies said the venture was called “Operation Millstone.”
Lewis said the operation targeted three classifications of offenders: predators, prostitutes, and johns. He described a predator as someone who sought out sex with a child.
Lewis said the operation resulted in the arrest of two human trafficking suspects, a husband and wife team identified as Leon William Anderson III and Samantha Flayhart. Two human trafficking victims were rescued as well. Lewis said SWITCH, an Upstate nonprofit that helps human trafficking victim, arrived at the scene and are helping the victims in this case.
14 predators, 17 johns, and 10 prostitutes were also arrested, per the sheriff.
"These are the worst kinds of human beings you can possibly find," Lewis said of the suspects.
Lewis said the suspects thought they would be meeting a 14-year-old girl. One suspect wanted to kidnap the teen, take her to Myrtle Beach, and sell her, Lewis said. One suspect wanted to infect the child with a disease. Another wanted to eat the child.
"Someone he could physically cannibalize," the sheriff said of the suspect. He said that suspect was also interested in acts of bestiality.
Lewis said deputies are still working to identify 31 other people who "crossed a line" and either sought out a minor to have sex with or communicated such a desire.
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