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Saturday February 13th, 2016 8:45PM
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Gainesville man arrested in Hall Co. sex sting

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - A Gainesville man is the latest to be arrested in an undercover sex sting conducted by Hall County authorities.

Hall County Sheriff's Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said 48-year-old John Hartwell Smith, Jr. was arrested Tuesday and charged with enticing a child for indecent purposes.

"Mr. Smith arranged through an advertisement on Craigslist to meet with what he believed to be an underage female for the purpose of having a sexual relationship," said Wilbanks.

Wilbanks said Smith was arrested without incident when he met authorities -thinking he was meeting the girl - at a pre-arranged location.

About two weeks ago, Hall County undercover officers arrested a Clarkesville man in a similar operation.

"This is similar to the operation that we used a couple of weeks ago on a previous arrest," said Wilbanks. "Most of these operations are similar in nature. Our investigators will adjust their tactics slightly depending on the responses they receive from the perpetrators."

Smith posted a bond of $15,000, according to Wilbanks.

He is next scheduled for a committal hearing on October 21.
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