Two Bibb deputies resign after investigation WMAZ
CORRECTION: This story originally stated that Sheriff Davis told Cranford and Scarborough to resign; actually, Davis said he never spoke to the two deputies and they resigned before his office made a final decision on whether to fire them.
The Bibb County Sheriff's Office says two deputies resigned after allegedly contacting sex-trafficking victims and exchanging texts with them
One of the deputies told a woman "he would protect her if she went on a date with him," according to a sheriff's office file on the two Bibb deputies who resigned last month.
According to the files obtained by 13WMAZ on Thursday, it all started back in May when an FBI agent contacted Bibb County about their investigation into human trafficking.
The federal agent reported that they found deputies Jeffrey Cranford's and Robert Scarborough's numbers in phones belonging to some trafficking victims.
The FBI investigation was looking at Backpage.com, a website known for advertising sexual services.
Cranford and Scarborough allegedly contacted women through phone numbers they found on Backpage ads.
One woman told the FBI that Cranford told her he was a "man in uniform" and quote "if she let him come on a date he would not tell anyone and would protect her going forward."
The woman said she never met Cranford and she warned other women that it was a cop's phone number.
According to the sheriff's file, Cranford admitted texting women over the past several years as a joke and called it a "sick game."
But he said he never met any of those women.
Scarborough told investigators that he contacted only one woman several years ago.
He said he first looked at Backpage.com because he heard that a woman he knew was advertising there.
The case says the two deputies took lie-detector tests in August and that the polygraph operator believed Cranford was lying. The operator could not give an opinion on whether Scarborough was telling the truth.
Sheriff David Davis said the two deputies resigned in September before his office made a final decision on whether to fire them.
Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said Thursday that two of his deputies resigned after being targeted in a federal human trafficking sting. WMAZ
According to the case file, both men were patrol deputies.Cranford was with the department for 11 years, Scarborough 14 years.
The FBI sting, called "Operation Cross Country XI", involved 55 FBI field offices and involved 78 state and local forces. The FBI said nationwide, 120 alleged traffickers were arrested and 84 minors were recovered.
In Georgia, authorities made 60 arrests, including 58 in Atlanta and 2 in Savannah. Four juveniles were recovered in the state -- 3 in Atlanta, and 1 in Augusta.
As part of the crackdown, FBI agents and task force officers staged operations in hotels, casinos and truck stops as well as street corners and internet websites.