(Media release from the Floyd County Police Department):

An operation to purge the community of child pornography has resulted in the Floyd County
Police Department rescuing one child from a home where pornography was being produced by a
guardian who was serving in the community as a youth leader.
Seven people have been arrested up this point and stacks of devices have been collected that
contain digital child pornography, including phones, computers, game systems and storage devices.
Additional arrests are expected as follow ups continue this week.
Operation Spring Cleaning was a two-day sweep of the city of Rome, Cave Spring and the
unincorporated area to investigate suspicious cyber activity that was relayed to us by the Georgia Bureau
of Investigation. Those tips described images of suspected child pornography, which were later
confirmed in some cases where police found graphic depictions of sex acts with children between the
ages of two and 12-years-old.
Investigators visited 21 locations during the course of this operation and made seven arrests. The
juvenile who was rescued by police was living with a youth minister who was coaching the child about
how to act in videos and also engaging in acts of child molestation. The child had no family for support
and had been taken in by the man for care.
The police department used information from cyber tips that were collected from the Internet
Crimes Against Children division of the GBI. Using this information our investigators obtained search
warrants to seize electronics or examine devices on scene. The illegal content seized by police is child
pornography that was made locally but also includes some that is being distributed worldwide through
social media, online chat groups and messenger applications.
The Floyd County Police Department received a huge assist from the United States Secret Service
Cyber Crime Taskforce for Operation Spring Cleaning, which includes two investigators from Cobb
County Police Department. Seven members of that unit performed forensic examinations of devices; a
process that can takes days or weeks for returns. The Secret Service was able to conduct forensic
examinations of devices in a matter of hours.
The Secret Service examined 13 items of digital evidence while on location with investigators,
totaling five terabytes of data. Police took custody of 26 other devices containing an additional five
terabytes of data.

Police obtained 10 search warrants for devices and residences. In some cases, police also found
prosthetics that were being used by suspects to simulate sex acts with children. In some cases, police
have found that owners of child pornography move to actual physical assaults of children. Those
children sometimes grow up to predators who continue the savage cycle of victimization.
Floyd County Police Department has maintained a strong relationship with the GBI cyber unit
since 2017, which has resulted in invaluable training that has allowed us to conduct operations to arrest
internet predators. In 2021 there were 43 tips received by the Floyd County Police Department from the
The information we receive from the GBI is distributed by the National Center for Missing and
Exploited Children. In 2021 there were 20 million tips sent to law enforcement by NCMEC, a number
that has quadrupled in five years. Georgia authorities received 14,000 of those tips.

Arrest Summary

  1. Jackie Steve Autry, 65, of Rome
    Occupation: Unemployed
    Sexual Exploitation of Children
    Possession of Controlled Substance (methamphetamine)
    Remains in Jail: $15,000 Bond
  2. Richard Castleman, 26, of Cave Spring
    Occupation: Unemployed
    Computer Pornography
    Released from Jail: $15,000
  3. Jason Gass, 27, of Rome
    Occupation: Construction
    Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute
    Possession of Drug Related Objects
    Possession of THC oil
    Computer Pornography
    Released from Jail: $15,000 Bond
  4. Tyler Johnson, 22, of Rome
    Occupation: Unemployed
    Computer Pornography
    Released from Jail: $15,000 Bond
  5. Austin Wray Perkins, 25 of Rome
    Occupation: Youth Minister
    Sexual Exploitation of Children (x2)
    Aggravated Child Molestation
    Remains in Jail: No Bond
  6. Joab Stewart, 24, of Rome
    Sexual Exploitation of Children
    Released from Jail: $15,000 Bond
  7. Juvenile (age 16)
    Charges pending review