Man accused of luring 13-year-old from central Fla. to Davie for sex
Jonathan Wells, 24, arrested after trying to meet girl at McDonald's, police say
DAVIE, Fla. – Undercover police detectives said they arrested a 24-year-old man who traveled to have sex with a 13-year-old girl he met online in Osceola County and drove her back to South Florida.
But when Jonathan Wells showed up, he was greeted with handcuffs instead. Wells tried to hide his face as he was walked Tuesday afternoon into the Broward County jail.
Detectives in central Florida were able to identify Wells by searching through the girl's text messages and social media accounts.
"He traveled up there early in the morning last Monday," said Davie police Capt. Dale Engle. "He met with this girl and brought her back here to Davie."
The girl's parents alerted police, who tried to track down Wells last week. They recovered the teen, but he got away. They said the teen wouldn't cooperate with investigators, so they assumed the girl's identity online, reconnected with Wells through social media this week and told him she was coming back to South Florida.
"These conversations were explicit. He was very detailed in the activity that he wanted to engage in with this child," Engle said. "In our conversation, we indicated we would be with another female. He asked, 'How old is she?' We let him know that she is only 15 years old and he seemed excited about that."
He said Wells told the teen to meet him at the McDonald's on Davie Road, but when he showed up police were waiting.
Wells has a prior drug arrest and records show he used to own a thrift store in Davie. It's unclear how he makes a living these day, but detectives doubt this was his first illicit encounter with a child.
"Very unlikely," said Engle. "In fact, our detectives will be preparing a bulletin to put out to all agencies across Florida. If he traveled to Osceola County, I'm sure he's traveled to other places a little bit more locally."
Wells was taken into custody and charged with one count of using a computer to solicit, lure and seduce a child, and two counts of traveling to meet a child after using a computer to lure the child.
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