SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) - 58-year-old Thomas Bell of Syracuse was arrested for allegedly patronizing a 14-year-old prostitute that turned out to be an undercover police officer.
Bell was arrested on Thursday, March 21st and charged with Disseminating Indecent Material to a Child in the 1st degree, Patronizing a Prostitute, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
According to Syracuse Police, Bell allegedly texted over a 10 day period with an undercover police officer, who Bell believed to be a 14 year old girl.
In those text messages, Bell offered to trade marijuana, alcohol, clothing and money in exchange for several sexual acts with the undercover officer, who he thought was a minor.
Police said Bell requested the undercover officer bring a 6-year-old girl with her so that he could have sex with that child also. Bell also sent a sexually explicit photograph to the undercover officer.
Bell was arrested Thursday evening in the city of Syracuse when he arrived to pick up the fictitious 14 year old girl.
At the time of Bell's arrest, he had a package of marijuana with him, and $100 hidden in his wallet.
After Bell's arrest, Police located several growing marijuana plants in his residence. Police also seized three of Bell's home computers.
Bell was lodged in the Onondaga County Justice Center on Thursday night.
He was arraigned in Syracuse City Court on Friday morning and released on his own recognizance.