Atlanta gay photographer arrested in Tennessee for alleged kiddie porn and drug trafficking

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By Brent Frazier, NewsChannel 5 and
O&AN Staff Reports

(Click here to view the video story on NewsChannel 5.com with NewsChannel 5 reporter Brent Frazier).

WINCHESTER, Tenn.- A leader and self-described gay activist from Atlanta’s GLBT community has been arrested in Tennessee for allegedly trying to sell illegal images of an underage teenage boy and selling crystal meth.

Police say Gary Salles is one of two suspects they arrested over the weekend who head up a major international child porn operation. Salles and Mike Lattimore drove from Atlanta to offer up drugs, more than 450 computer files, images of children engaged in sexual acts, and according to police, a 13 or 14-year-old boy for sale for $10,000.

The two male suspects stepped right into a police trap. The action happened in Winchester, Tenn., in Franklin County where the suspects took the bait.

Lead suspect Gary Salles claims to be a mentor to gay and lesbian adolescents. He’s a dance club photographer by trade and, according to investigators, a self professed pedophile.

Online, Salles bills himself as a bona fide photographer, but it’s the personal, even pornographic pictures, according to police, that got the 57-year-old busted. Salles has served on Atlanta’s "pearl day" committee, which was held at Six Flags Over Georgia and is similar to Disney’s Gay Day.

View Salles MySpace page here where he says he is single and attended college in Memphis. His page says he owns Photos by GSalles, and is an event planner and pageant owner.

"To see the videos, firsthand, that he was sharing, that was exciting to him. For example, a 4-year-old being raped, molested. Ya know, he would really get excited," said Chief Dennis Young, Winchester, Tenn., Police Department. Young was monitoring surveillance video Saturday inside a Winchester motel when the two were arrested.

"These are real life kids being abused," said Chief Young.

The chief says Salles never once suspected the would-be buyers were undercover investigators.

Salles and his suspected partner are at the Franklin County Jail. The suspected ring leader of this kiddie porn ring with international appeal won’t find freedom anytime soon, at least not if the chief has his way.

"I don’t believe this man is going to see the light of day again if we have anything to do with it," said Chief Young.

The chief also claims Gary Salles is a major producer of the crystal meth being supplied to middle Tennessee. He allegedly brought $2,000 worth to Saturday’s bogus buy in Winchester.

The chief is crediting his department, the FBI and giving a big pat on the back to Franklin Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit.

Suspects Salles and Lattimore will be taken to Chattanooga first thing Tuesday morning where they’ll be arraigned and charged in federal court.