Thomas Cheung aka Elvine, the partnered Twitch streamer and former employee of Hi-Rez, has been arrested as part of “Operation Interception.” Cheung’s arrest, along with 20 other men, was announced by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI on February 4. Cheung is accused of attempting “to seduce, solicit, lure or entice” a child.
The GBI press release says that the investigation into Cheung and others went on for several months. The statement said, “The goal of “Operation Interception” 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. Additionally, the operation targeted those who are willing to exploit children by purchasing sex with a minor.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Cheung Was Arrested in a Brookhaven Parking Garage in Georgia
Cheung was arrested in a parking garage in Brookhaven, Georgia, 10 miles north of Atlanta. Cheung is accused of communicating with a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl through the dating app, Whisper, reports NBC Atlanta.
It’s alleged that Cheung and the minor had arranged to meet in the parking garage of a Kroger store. Cheung is accused of telling an undercover agent that he wanted to “show her some things” and that he didn’t like condoms. Cheung was taken into custody in the Kroger at around 12:45 a.m. on January 31. The Newnan Times-Herald named Coweta County Sheriff’s Investigator Jason Brooks as one of the officers who actively engaged with suspects online. That report says that 22 agencies were involved in the sting.
2. Cheung Had Over 30,000 Followers on Twitch
Cheung had around 34,000 followers on Twitch and was a well-known “World of Warcraft” player. Speaking to Kotaku, streaming talent manager Omeed Dariani said, “In the Twitch community, there’s an “in” crowd for sure. Thomas was definitely “in.” The industry tends to view people in that crowd as safe and friendly. This is a good reminder that we only see the sides of performers that they want us to.”
3. On His LinkedIn Page, Cheung Says He Is the Community Specialist of Hi-Rez Studios
According to Cheung’s LinkedIn page, he is a community specialist with Hi-Rez Studios in Atlanta. Cheung writes on that page that he is “passionate,” “outgoing” and “highly self-motivated.” He adds, “Possesses a strong understanding of social media platforms and their metrics.”
In a statement on Twitter, Hi-Rez CEO Stewart Chisam, said that Cheung had been let go:
On LinkedIn, Cheung also says that he is the owner and manager of his own Twitch brand, Elvinelol LLC. At the time of writing, Elvinelol’s website has been removed. Cheung has been a partner with Twitch since June 2012. Cheung studied Computer Simulation and Game Development at Gwinett Technical College. Twitch has suspended Cheung’s account, in response to his arrest.
4. Just Before His Arrest, Cheung Showed Off His New Manicure on Twitter
On January 28, Cheung showed off his new manicure on Twitter writing in the caption, “Fresh manicure. #TreatYourself.” On his Twitter bio, Cheung linked to Elvinelol.com. A cached version of the webpage shows that Cheung had a section where he solicited donations.
5. Cheung Is ‘Georgia Born & Raised’
Cheung said in a 2013 tweet that he is “Georiga born and raised.” On his social media accounts, Cheung is shown to have traveled to Hong Kong where he has relatives. Other social media posts show that Cheung is a fan of the Atlanta Falcons and the Golden State Warriors.