Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
201 South Union Street, Suite 3000 / P.O. Box 304115 / Montgomery, AL 36130-4115
PHONE 334.517.2800 / LE.ALABAMA.GOV
Hal Taylor

November 04, 2016

"Operation Southern Impact" Targets Those Who Exploit Children by Using the Internet

Montgomery, AL – A total of 31 people were arrested during a mutually coordinated operation between Georgia and Alabama law enforcement agencies. Operation Southern Impact targeted persons who sexually exploit children by using the Internet. In Alabama, 11 people have been arrested during Operation Southern Impact. Those arrested in Alabama were charged with crimes surrounding the sexual exploitation of children. Additional charges may be forthcoming and other arrests may occur after analysis of seized digital devices.

The joint, proactive investigation was coordinated by the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (GA ICAC TF) and the Alabama Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (AL ICAC TF) and focused on those who possess and distribute child pornography and those who are sexually exploiting children in other ways using the internet. The planning for Operation Southern Impact began approximately 3 months ago and culminated in 2 days of search warrant executions and arrests in Georgia and Alabama.

The Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Alabama Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force wanted to reinforce to those who exploit children that the ICAC Task Forces will work together to make an impact in their respective states and the region as a whole. The cooperation among agencies and among states illustrates their level of commitment to detect, arrest, and prosecute child predators. Cooperation is always important in law enforcement, but it is never more important than when we set out to protect children. Operation Southern Impact has given us an opportunity to share our experience, information, and resources across units, agencies, and state lines, to make sure that there is no safe place to hide for criminals who would victimize the most vulnerable among us.

A total of 54 search warrants were executed in Georgia and Alabama. Law enforcement officers conducting the searches were looking for evidence of possession and distribution of child pornography using the internet as well as evidence of other child exploitation related crimes. Over the course of the operation, 162 digital devices were examined and 731 digital devices were seized as evidence.
In Alabama, the operation was a coordinated effort between the following federal, state, and local criminal justice agencies:

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
Arab Police Department
Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office
Bessemer Police Department
Brewton Police Department
Clanton Police Department
Cullman County Sheriff’s Office
Daphne Police Department
Decatur Police Department
Enterprise Police Department
Eufaula Police Department
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Gardendale Police Department
Guntersville Police Department
Homeland Security Investigations
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
Joint Electronic Crimes Task Force
Leeds Police Department
Madison County Sheriff’s Office
Marshall County District Attorney’s Office
Marshall County Sheriff’s Office
Millbrook Police Department
Mobile County Sheriff’s Office
Morgan County Sheriff’s Office
Northport Police Department
Opp Police Department
Pelham Police Department
Prattville Police Department
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office
Tuskegee Police Department
Walker County Sheriff’s Office
Wetumpka Police Department
United States Secret Service
University of Alabama Police Department

Those taken into custody and charged in Alabama as part of Operation Southern Impact are:

1. Mitchell Rainwater, 53, of Arab, for Possession of Child Pornography
2. Randall Hughes, 23, of Athens, for Possession of Child Pornography
3. Dennis Hudson, Jr., 26, of Center Point, for Possession of Child Pornography
4. James W. Peterson, 32, of Mississippi, for Federal Charges of Enticement of a Minor
5. Andrew Scott Blocker, 33, of Deatsville, for Possession of Child Pornography
6. Anthony Edward Goodner, 61, of Hartselle, for Possession of Child Pornography
7. Christopher Allen Adams, 38, of Loxley, for Possession of Child Pornography
8. Joesph Ganjei, 22, of Wetumpka, for Possession of Child Pornography
9. Jonathan Sheldon, 36, of New Hope, for Possession of Child Pornography
10. Hope Akron, of Enterprise, for Possession of Marijuana 2nd Degree
11. Bobby Warren, of Enterprise, for Possession of Marijuana 2nd Degree

The Alabama Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force strives to protect children from sexual exploitation and arrest those that prey on our state’s most vulnerable victims.