Hi-Rez Employee and Twitch Streamer Arrested in Child Sex Sting Operation
Thomas Cheung who is an employee at Hi-Rez Studios and also a Twitch partner has been arrested for possessing computer electronic pornography, child exploitation, and computer child exploitation online
An alarming report has surfaced today which states that Twitch Streamer and employee at Hi-Rez Studios, Thomas Cheung has been arrested along with 20 other men. The apparent reason for this detainment is child exploitation along with other equally shocking charges.
The Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) had been actively staking out the operation – nicknamed “Operation Interception”- over the course of several months in Brookhaven, GA to gather and survey as much information as possible with the end goal of arresting individuals trying to have sex with children. In a technique that we’ve unfortunately become familiar in witnessing these days, the investigators even pretended to be a child on dating apps in an attempt to gather as much proof as possible in the lead up to the arrests being made over the Super Bowl weekend.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has expressed that the sole objective of “Operation Interception” was to “arrest persons who communicate with children online, have sexually explicit conversations, and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex. Additionally, the operation targeted those who are willing to exploit children by purchasing sex with a minor.”
Most of the 20 men that were arrested had traveled from the surrounding area of Atlanta with the intent to meet a child for sex according to a report from Debbie Garner – Special Agent in Charge at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. In Mr. Cheung case, he was also arrested for “possessing computer electronic pornography, child exploitation, and computer child exploitation online.” if he is charged with these offenses under the “Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007,” Thomas could face up to 20 years in prison and fined $25,000.00.
Of course, this will totally come down to whether the crime is considered misdemeanor or a felony, which is determined on various factors including the age of the child and at this time of writing, no further information regarding the child/children have been announced.
Some gamers may recognize Cheung from his Twitch streams that has acquired over 34,000 followers, but more notably he is an employee at Hi-Rez Studios who many know by their established games that include Smite, Paladins, and Realm Royale. CEO and President at Hi-Rez Studios Stewart Chisam, has taken to his own personal Twitter account to issue a statement – in it, Stewart commented that Thomas Cheung, as of today, is no longer employed at Hi-Rez Studios and as a parent himself, he can’t get his head around the disturbing allegations.
— HiRezStew (@schisam) February 5, 2019
Brookhaven Police have a strong warning to would-be child predators: “Our message is simple: if you think you’re coming to Brookhaven to meet a child for sex, you’re likely to find us instead. This behavior will never be tolerated here.” I think that goes for everywhere in the world too. We will continue to follow this story and will update regarding any further developments.