A Covington man was arrested in North Carolina after driving more than 150 miles in an alleged attempt to have sex with an underage girl, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.
Timothy Wade Bryant, 43, was arrested June 1 around 12:10 a.m. in Cherokee County, located at the western tip of North Carolina, in the driveway of the girl's residence.
Deputies were alerted by a concerned citizen of Bryant's alleged intentions to take the girl to a local motel overnight and set up surveillance around the house after removing the juvenile, according to a statement from the CCSO. Bryant was arrested without incident when he came to the home at the prearranged time.
Deputies retrieved various items from Bryant's car and motel room. According to the CCSO, this was apparently not the first time Bryant had met with the girl. The sheriff's office in Gilmer County, Ga., near the Georgia-North Carolina border, was contacted for further investigation.
Bryant was arrested and charged with attempted statutory rape, solicitation of a child by computer and felonious restraint. He was still in custody at the Cherokee County Detention Center under a $50,000 bond as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Newton County Sheriff's Office had no information of any prior charges on Bryant and he was also not found on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Sex Offender Registry.
Locally, law enforcement was also busy catching predators last week.
On Sunday, NCSO deputies along with the GBI arrested a 28-year-old active duty soldier from Fort Benning, who had just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, for soliciting sex from what he thought was a 13-year-old girl. The minor, however, turned out to be an undercover NCSO deputy working as part of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce.
Pfc. Andrew David Craig was arrested at Fort Benning, where he lived with his wife and young child, said NCSO spokesperson Investigator Sharron Stewart. He was charged with obscene phone contact with a child, electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors, the computer porn and child exploitation act, and sexual exploitation of children.
In the course of the three-month investigation, which began in a chat room, Craig reportedly requested explicit pictures of the minor, sent pictures of himself and communicated from both his work and home computers, which were confiscated for evidence during the arrest.
He had also requested to meet up in person and even talked on the phone once with the "minor," according to Stewart.
All the pieces and paperwork that allowed the NCSO to make the arrest came together Sunday.
"It takes a while to work these cases," Stewart said. "There's a lot involved."
She said it was satisfying to bring the investigation to a conclusion, especially knowing that it could have been a real child involved instead of an undercover officer.
Craig is currently in custody at the Newton County Detention Center as of Monday afternoon under a $20,000 bond.