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Photo courtesy of Mooresville Police Department

Several Suspects Charged In Operation Targeting Crimes Against Minors

The Mooresville Police Department recently brought charges against 15 individuals for internet crimes against children as a part of Operation Artemis. Operation Artemis ran May 28-30, 2024. It involved multiple municipal, county, state and federal agencies including the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. It is to date the largest child predator operation in Mooresville Police Department’s history.

Preparation for Operation Artemis began six months prior to May 2024 and involved 19 agencies and 65 personnel from those agencies. Suspects range in age 25 to 78-years-old with alleged offenders from as far away as Gretna, Virginia. Suspects utilized online platforms including ChatApp, Discord, DoubleList, Facebook, FetLife, Grindr, Mega Personal Ad, Skip the Games, and Sniffies to solicit minors. The minors that the suspects were meeting for sexual activities ranged in age from 13 to 15-years-old.

One of the suspects arrested is 25-year-old Dawson Stacey Davidson of Taylorsville. He was charged with felony solicitation by computer, as previously reported on WHKY. The other suspects charged in this case are from Mooresville, Clayton, High Point, Cornelius, Charlotte, Concord, Cherryville, and Gretna, Virginia. Charges against the suspects include the previously mentioned solicitation by computer, felony prostitution of a minor and sexual exploitation of a minor.

In addition to the Mooresville Police Department and Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, agencies involved included Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Secret Service, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Criminal Interdiction Unit.