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Suspect thought seeing underage sex sting in Florida would be 'cool'

7 men arrested in bust
Posted: 7:30 AM, Oct 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-17 14:47:54Z

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Florida man caught in an underage sex sting told deputies he only came to the meeting place because he thought it would be cool to see an undercover sting in action.

A Volusia County Sheriff's Office release says 34-year-old James Bowen is one of seven men who experienced firsthand how "cool" the agency's operation to catch internet predators was last week.

Despite his claims of innocence, officials say Bowen faces charges for showing up at a Deltona gas station following sexually charged chats and texts with an undercover detective he believed was a 14-year-old girl.

The operation ran from Wednesday to Sunday, with suspects ranging in age from 22-49.

Bowen was held on $40,000 bail. Jail records didn't list an attorney.

Others arrested in the sting included:

Ryan Kirk, 31 (DOB 4/7/1987), Eslinger Road, New Smyrna Beach
Employment: N/A
Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(3)(A)
Travel to Seduce Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(4)(A)
Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery 800.04(4)(A)
Use of 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony 934.215

George G. Wallace, 43 (DOB 3/6/1975), Green Acres Circle, South Daytona
Employment: Comfort Keepers (Nursing)
Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(3)(A)
Travel to Seduce Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(4)(A)
Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery 800.04(4)(A)
Use of 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony 934.215

Jorge A. Cruz, 49 (DOB 12/18/1968), Homestead Avenue, DeBary
Employment: Mechanic
Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(3)(A)
Travel to Seduce Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(4)(A)
Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery 800.04(4)(A)
Use of 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony 934.215

Jonathan Harden, 25 (DOB 9/8/1993), Cains Wren Trail, Sanford
Employment: Orlando Health
Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(3)(A)
Travel to Seduce Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(4)(A)
Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery 800.04(4)(A)
Use of 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony 934.215

Ronald J. Foley, 28 (DOB 9/20/1990), Twin Coach Court, Daytona Beach
Employment: Self-employed pressure washer
Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(3)(A)
Travel to Seduce Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(4)(A)
Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery 800.04(4)(A)
Use of 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony 934.215

James Wayne Bowen, 34 (DOB 8/6/1984), NW 21st Street, Gainesville
Employment: Co-owner, Bob’s Barber Shop
Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(3)(A)
Travel to Seduce Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(4)(A)
Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery 800.04(4)(A)
Use of 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony 934.215

Jonathan William Hayes, 22 (DOB 8/10/1996), Jefferis Court, Eustis
Employment: Florida Elks Youth Camp maintenance; former counselor
Use Computer to Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(3)(A)
Travel to Seduce Seduce/Solicit/Lure Child 847.0135(4)(A)
Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery 800.04(4)(A)
Use of 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony 934.215