Post sponsored by NewzEngine.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. –The United States Secret Service, United States Attorney Russell Coleman, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and the leadership of other Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force agencies announced the culmination of “Operation Gabbi Doolin” today. This joint federal, state, and local operation was aimed at exposing child predators in Kentucky communities.

The investigations, which were conducted in Elizabethtown and Louisville, Kentucky, resulted in multiple state and federal arrests. In addition to the arrests, multiple investigative leads were developed that continue to assist law enforcement with the apprehension of child predators.

This operation was named in honor of Gabbi Doolin, a 7-year old child from Scottsville, Kentucky, who was kidnapped and murdered from her brother’s youth football game in Allen County in 2015.

“Kentucky law enforcement has no more important mission than to protect our kids,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “And we can conceive of no more meaningful way honor to Gabbi Doolin and her family than to work together, federal, state, and local, in an operation in her name to remove predators from our Commonwealth. More to come.”

“The local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that carried out this joint operation are committed to stopping child predators so that no family has to endure the incredible loss the Doolin family has felt these last five years,” said Attorney General Cameron. “We share a goal to find child predators and remove them from communities before they act. Every arrest that we make stops a potential criminal act against a child, and we will continue to do everything in our power to leverage our resources and work together to protect Kentucky’s children.”

“The United States Secret Service remains steadfastly committed to our role in bringing the fullest weight of the law enforcement community at every level to the fight against child predators online,” said Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville field office Robert Holman. “While the dark corners of the internet might seem like a good place to hide within, today’s announcement serves as a powerful reminder that trained investigators across the interagency can and will identify these especially vile criminals, and ensure they are brought to justice.”

Seven individuals have been charged with federal offenses, they include:

  • Charles Ashley, 66, of Adolphus, Kentucky has been charged with the attempted enticement of a minor, attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor, and attempted production of child pornography. He faces not less than 10 years for the enticement charge, not less than 15 years for the attempted production charge and not more than 10 years for attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor.  The maximum potential sentence is life in prison.
     
  • Jimmy Kwizera, 22, of Louisville, Kentucky, has pleaded guilty to transfer of obscene material to a minor. He faces not more than 10 years in federal prison at sentencing which has been scheduled for December 10, 2020.
     
  • Melvin Dowell, 54, of Rineyville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to attempted enticement and transfer of obscene material to a minor. He faces a mandatory minimum 10 year prison sentence. The maximum potential sentence is life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for February 1, 2020. 
     
  • Joseph Zakhari, 33, of Louisville, Kentucky, has been charged in a Superseding Indictment with attempted online enticement of a minor, attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor, and attempted production of child pornography. He faces not less than 10 years for the enticement charge, not less than 15 years for the attempted production charge and not more than 10 years for attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor.  The maximum potential sentence is life in prison.
     
  • Jeffrie Corn, 25, of Louisville, Kentucky, has been charged with attempted enticement of a minor and attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor.  He faces not less than 10 years for the enticement charge and not more than 10 years for attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor.  The maximum potential sentence is life in prison.
     
  • Travis Puckett, 23, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, has been charged with attempted enticement of a minor, attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor.  He faces not less than 10 years for the enticement charge and not more than 10 years for attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor.   The maximum potential sentence is life in prison.  Puckett is scheduled to plead guilty on November 23, 2020. 
     
  • Eric Vanhandle, 54, Louisville, Kentucky, has been charged with attempted enticement of a minor.  He faces not less than 10 years in prison for the charge.  The maximum potential sentence is life in prison.  

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jo Lawless. Agencies investigating these cases include: United States Secret Service, United States Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Kentucky Office of the Attorney General Department of Criminal Investigations, Kentucky State Police, Louisville Metro Police Department, Owensboro Police Department, and Elizabethtown Police Department.  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), supported the law enforcement efforts.

The indictment of a person by a Grand Jury is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

####

MIL Security OSI