While much of the United States was sitting down to watch the Superbowl last weekend a series of arrests were being made across the Atlanta area, including the arrest of a Hi-Rez community manager. Thomas Cheung was one of 21 people arrested over a five day period in what was called Operation Interception. He has been charged with “using a computer service to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child to commit an illegal act." More charges may come in the future.
The sting was part of several months of planning between various agencies who were arresting “persons who communicate with children on-line, have sexually explicit conversations, and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex." This is according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Hi-Rez made the following statement to Variety who originally reported on the news.
"On Monday, February 4th, we learned through local news that Thomas Cheung was arrested in an operation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.
At this point, we know only what has been reported in the local news and by local law enforcement, and cannot comment on specifics of Mr. Cheung's case, other than to say that, as of today, Mr. Cheung is no longer employed by Hi-Rez Studios.
As a parent, it is difficult to imagine more disturbing allegations than those laid out in the news reports. We commend the efforts of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and other law enforcement to protect our state's children and to send a strong message that the behavior targeted in their Operation Interception will not be tolerated in Georgia."
He worked for Hi-Rez as a community manager on both Smite and Paladins for almost a year. He was also a Twitch Partner but since his arrest, his page has been suspended.
We will be following this story for any updates.