Marietta Daily-Journal: AG says Georgia will be No. 1 in tackling, eradicating child sex trafficking

June 29, 2019

As published in the Marietta Daily Journal
June 29, 2019
By Rebecca Gaunt

MARIETTA — Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr addressed the opioid epidemic, gangs, elder abuse and human trafficking at the Cobb County Republican Women’s Club meeting Friday.

Carr told the crowd that his office is focused on domestic minor sex trafficking, for which the average age of a victim is 12 to 14 years old.

“Georgia Cares, last year in 2018, helped nearly 800 victims from 134 of Georgia’s 159 counties,” he said. “It’s a statewide issue. … I know the state of Georgia is going to be No. 1 at tackling this problem and eradicating this problem.”

On the issue of opioids, Carr thanked Missy Owen, who was present, for her work in establishing the Davis Direction Foundation and The Zone, a recovery community organization in Marietta, after losing her son to an overdose in 2014.

According to Carr, two-thirds of children going into Georgia’s foster care system have one or both parents addicted to opioids. Eight thousand Georgians have died in the past eight years due to overdoses.

In describing his plan for dealing with the problem, he said he is part of a group of more than 40 state attorneys general investigating the manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceutical opioids. He has filed a lawsuit in Gwinnett County Superior Court against those making and selling opioids for their role in fueling the crisis. He has also created a task force to focus on the epidemic.

Georgia gang investigators recently did a study that showed there are 71,000 identifiable gang members in the state, but according to Carr, that number is low because they don’t have access to all the data. They have also identified 1,500 different gang groups operating in the state.

“We created the Georgia anti-gang network, and for the first time ever, we have the sheriffs, the police chiefs, the DAs, the GBI, our office, and that includes corrections, juvenile justice, community supervision. We have federal partners — the FBI, the U.S. Attorneys, a group of folks together talking about how we disrupt this network,” he told the audience.

On elder abuse, he said his office is focusing on scams and robocalls and has asked the FCC to step in.

Carr also addressed the breaking news that the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have filed a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s abortion bill.

“It’s our office’s duty to defend laws that are duly passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor, as HB 481 is, and that’s exactly what we are going to do,” he said.