Hi-Rez Staffer Fired After Child Predator Sting Arrest

Companies cut ties with streamer following arrest.


A community specialist for Hi-Rez Studios--maker of Smite and Paladins--as been let go from the company, following an arrest in an undercover sting to catch child predators. Tommy Cheung was one of multiple people arrested in "Operation Interception."

In a press release, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says it arrested 21 people between ages 20-55 who traveled near the Atlanta metro area with the intent of meeting a child for sex. It also seized 24 digital devices as evidence. It says the goal of the sting was "to arrest persons who communicate with children on-line, have sexually explicit conversations, and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex." Hi-Rez promptly released Cheung from its employment.

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"On Monday, February 4th, we learned through local news that Thomas Cheung was arrested in an operation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations," Hi-Rez said in a statement to USGamer. "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."

In addition, PC accessory manufacturer SteelSeries dropped its sponsorship of Cheung.

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