Social media sting operation lands one on multiple charges

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A covert sting operation on social media landed a Ponce de Leon man jailed for multiple charges.

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested William Thomas Bell, 48, of Ponce de Leon on November 8, after Bell made contact with who he believed to be a 15-year-old female through a covert Facebook account that was being operated by an HCSO investigator.

The initial contact was made on October 21 and during the course of the conversation Bell sent obscene pictures and comments to the account still believing he was speaking with a 15-year-old girl. According to HCSO, Bell also sent messages containing directions to a location in Holmes County where he would meet with the minor child.

HCSO investigators went to the location on November 8 and found Bell where he told the child to meet him.

Bell was taken into custody and a search of his vehicle was conducted and hydrocodone was found.

Bell is charged with transmitting material harmful to minors; obscene communication - using a computer to seduce solicit, or lure a child or person believed to be a child; unlawful use of a two-way communications device, traveling to meet a minor for sex, and possession of hydrocodone.

William Thomas Bell, social media sting, HCSO, minor

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