MARIETTA, Ga. – An FBI child exploitation sting has snared a high-ranking USAF lieutenant colonel who was accused of trying to meet a girl at a hotel in Georgia after the two spoke online.

Lt. Col. Willie Newson, 47, was arrested Tuesday at a hotel in Marietta, Ga. He was booked on charges of child exploitation, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Consequently, he was placed on leave pending the investigation’s outcome. It was not immediately clear if he has legal representation, according to the report.

Willie Newson. (Booking photo/Undated USAF photo via WSB-TV)

Authorities said Newson was trying to meet with a teen girl he met on a dating app. Yet in reality, she was really an undercover officer working for the FBI Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force.

child abuse


An arrest warrant stated the undercover officer “gave Newson the opportunity to stop communicating several times,” Channel 2 Action News reported.

Georgia Department of Defense spokeswoman Desiree Bamba said Newson is on the command staff of the state Air National Guard.

“Lt. Col. Newson’s alleged actions do not reflect the values we uphold in the Georgia National Guard,” Bamba said.

Newson was among eight people arrested in three hours at the Radisson Hotel on Parkway Place in Marietta.

USAF lieutenant colonel

(Booking photos via WSB-TV)

Seven of the eight arrested were pimps and prostitutes, according to police.