Arresting officer in Floyd County teacher sting proud to get a predator out of schools

Floyd County Investigator speaks exclusively to News 12 about the investigation

Administrators and students at Coahulla Creek High School in Dalton got the surprise they never wanted to hear: a now-former teacher faces charges in a child predator sting in neighboring Floyd County.

Police charged 36-year-old Michael David Powers with five felonies, including aggravated child molestation and obscene internet contact with a child.

The Whitfield County School District says Powers worked at Coahulla Creek since August of 2011. He taught chemistry and coached the boys’ golf team before resigning earlier in the day.

Floyd County Police Investigator Misty Pledger arrested Powers yesterday afternoon. She’s proud to get an alleged sexual predator of children off the streets and out of the schools.

“This is the one thing, as a law enforcement officer, that I can do that’s proactive. That we can stop a crime happening or or someone being victimized before being victimized.”

Pledger says the investigation into Powers lasted about three weeks. She posed as a 16-year-old girl and held graphic online conversations with Powers, who threatened to expose the “young girl” if she did not send him nude pictures.

Pledger: “It’s pretty terrible, but it’s something that’s needed. I’m a member of the GBI’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and that’s part of what we do. We do these undercover chats.”

Pledger told me these types of conversations led her to take a break last year. She also says that teachers should know better than to engage in this type of behavior.

Pledger: “He’s a mandated reporter. He should be one that’s protecting children, looking out for children. Not one that’s preying on them, which he obviously was.”

According to Whitfield County Schools, Powers did not commit any crimes at Coahulla Creek or any school within the district, and this was an isolated incident. Anyone with more information on Powers is asked to contact the Floyd County Police Department.

Categories: Dalton, Featured, Local News, Whitfield County

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