BCSO Heat Unit charges two in undercover operations

Two men were charged Dec. 11 with solicitation of a minor following two separate on-line undercover operations conducted the Sheriff’s Office HEAT (Hi-Tech Evidence and Technology) Unit.

Richard James Bell, 73, of Knoxville, and Sammy Eugene Garland, Jr. 48, of Samples Road, Louisville, were each charged with solicitation of a minor. Both men are being held at the Blount County Detention facilities on $25,000 bonds each pending hearings in Blount County General Sessions Court at 9 a.m., Dec. 18.

For the past two weeks, the HEAT Unit has been conducting separate on-line investigations on Bell and Garland. The investigations culminated this week when members of the HEAT Unit, assisted by the BCSO patrol unit, the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force and the Alcoa Police Department, took Bell and Garland into custody.

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