Facepalm: Well-known World of Warcraft streamer Thomas Cheung was arrested by the FBI on child sex charges as part of a larger operation to extinguish child sex trafficking and other sex crimes against children.
The Georgia Office of Investigation (GBI) worked with the FBI to conduct a child sexual operation called Operation Interception, which took 21 people to prison in a five-day period. Thomas Cheung, a fan of Twitch and employee of developer Paladins Hi-Rez Studios, was one of those arrested last weekend accused of using a computer to "seduce, solicit, attract or attract" children.
According to a GBI press release:
The purpose of the "Intercept Operation" was to arrest people who communicate with children online, sexually explicit conversations and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex. In addition, the operation targeted those who are willing to exploit children by buying sex with a minor. Children's online predators visit chat rooms and internet sites, find children, initiate conversations with them, introduce sexual content, and finally organize a meeting with children for the purpose of having sex
As for Cheung himself, he worked at Hi-Rez as a community expert on Smite and Paladins Strike. The company immediately terminated Cheung's job after learning of the bite through the media. In a tweet, CEO Stew Chisam condemned Cheung's actions and praised police efforts.
– HiRezStew (@schisam) February 5, 2019
With about 34,000 followers, Cheung was also a prolific Twitch Streamer under the pseudonym "Elvine." He played mostly MMORPGs with World of Warcraft being one of the pillars of his channel. Your Twitch account has been removed and your sponsorship from SteelSeries. According to Kotaku, Cheung was well known in the Twitch and WoW community and was considered "safe and friendly".
Under Georgia law, Cheung and the other 20 people can face up to 20 years in prison and fine up to $ 25,000.