A Daleville man was arrested during a multi-state child exploitation operation that took four months of planning and three days of execution.
According to a press release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Friday, May 3, 82 people were arrested in what is being called Operation Southern Impact III, a coordinated operation that included participation from 171 law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. Over 30 of those individuals were arrested in Georgia. Seventeen children were rescued during the implementation of the operation.
The GBI release states this operation “was coordinated by 10 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces across eight states,” which were Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. It “focused on persons who possess and distribute child pornography and those who are sexually exploiting children in other ways using technology and the internet,” the release states.
One of those individuals, Timothy Weidenhammer, 42, was arrested by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and booked into the Dale County Jail on April 30 where he is still being held on no bond. He is charged with three counts of possession of child pornography.
A statement from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said 31 Alabama agencies participated as part of Alabama’s ICAC Task Force.
“The SVU was assisted by Daleville Police Department, Dothan Police Department, Enterprise Police Department, the FBI and the Dale County Sheriff’s Office,” the statement said. “We do expect further charges as this investigation continues.”
According to Interim Daleville Police Chief Allen Medley, Daleville’s SWAT Team “did an excellent job” assisting ALEA in the operation by executing a search warrant and detaining Weidenhammer.
All individuals arrested during Operation Southern Impact III range in age from 20 to 70 and hold occupations ranging from small business owner to daycare administrator or construction worker, according to the GBI release.
It also states that during the implementation of the operation, 134 search warrants were executed and 215 knock-and-talks were conducted, during which 861 digital devices were previewed and 1,613 digital devices were seized. Over 200 mobile phones were included in those devices.
These investigations were the result of “cybertips received by each ICAC task force from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children” and “peer-to-peer investigations and proactive, online undercover investigations,” the GBI’s release states.
During Operation Southern Impact III, investigations were led related to almost 250 cybertips.