ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr today announced that Devin Smith, 38, of Riverdale, has pleaded guilty in Fulton County in a case that involves the trafficking of a 17-year-old female. The victim was recovered from a hotel during “Operation Not Forgotten.” Following her recovery, Smith was indicted in January 2022 along with 9 other men, for a total of one seller and nine buyers. All 10 have now pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison.
“Our Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit was embedded throughout the duration of ‘Operation Not Forgotten,’ and we started to build our case as soon as this child was recovered,” said Carr. “What we found was truly disturbing but all too common when dealing with the sex trafficking of an underage person. From this one victim, we were able to initially identify nine buyers and one seller, and every one of those men is now behind bars.”
Guilty Plea and Sentence
Devin Smith entered a non-negotiated plea in Fulton County Superior Court on Nov. 8, 2023.
Specifically, Smtih has pleaded guilty to one count of Pandering of a Person Under the Age of 18. A Fulton County Superior Court Judge sentenced the defendant to 10 years, with the first 18 months to be served in prison and the remainder on strict probation. Smtih is also required to register as a sex offender.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Kaitlyn Fain Salinas of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
In August 2020, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit participated in “Operation Not Forgotten,” during which a 17-year-old victim was located at a hotel in Fulton County. At the time of her recovery, the child had been reported as missing from Kansas City, Missouri.
Following her recovery, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit began an extensive investigation to identify anyone who had engaged in her trafficking. This investigation resulted in the indictment of Devin Smith and nine other men in Fulton County in January 2022.
The seller in this case, Steven Stone, pleaded guilty in June 2023 and was sentenced to 25 years, with 13 years to be served in prison.
The eight other buyers on the indictment have also pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison.
The U.S. Marshals Service and the College Park Police Department assisted in the recovery of the victim. The U.S. Marshals Service, the Clayton County Police Department and the Gwinnett County Police Department assisted in the apprehension of the defendants.
About “Operation Not Forgotten”
“Operation Not Forgotten” is a multi-jurisdictional, joint operation aimed at recovering critically endangered missing children in the State of Georgia. This operation is led by the U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit in conjunction with the agency's Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
In 2020, “Operation Not Forgotten” resulted in the rescue of 26 children, the safe location of 13 children and the arrest of nine criminal associates.
About the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit
In 2019, with the support of Governor Brian Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp and leaders in the Georgia General Assembly, Attorney General Chris Carr created the first-of-its-kind statewide Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
Last year, the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit led and assisted 33 case investigations and rescued and assisted 116 victims.
So far, the Unit has obtained 29 new convictions in 2023, all of which have included prison sentences.
The Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit has 39 defendants who are currently under indictment for sex or labor trafficking, with some facing charges in multiple jurisdictions around the state.
The Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit is housed in the Prosecution Division, which also includes Carr’s Gang Prosecution Unit and his Public Integrity and White Collar Crime Unit.