BOONE, N.C. (WBTV) – A South Carolina man was arrested after police say he went to Boone to meet with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl.
The girl was actually a detective.
John Edward Heelan, 55, of Greenville, South Carolina, is charged with one count each of felony solicit a child by computer and appear and indecent liberties with a minor.
Heelan’s arrest came after investigators saw a suspicious ad on a popular website with a vulgar title. They feared the ad could have been posted by a predator looking for children online.
A Boone police detective then posed as a 14-year-old girl and responded to the ad.
Police said the poster, later identified as Heelan, interacted with the undercover investigator and, despite being led to believe that he was talking to a 14-year-old girl, arranged a meeting in Boone for sexual purposes.
When officers saw Heelan go to the meeting place, they approached him and conducted an interview, ultimately arresting him on the charges.
A search of his vehicle, police said, led to the seizure of “multiple items of evidence that further indicated the suspect was there for sexual purposes.”
Heelan was given a $50,000 bond and is due on court on March 3.