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      Syracuse man accused of patronizing undercover officer believed to be teenage prostitute

      Thomas Bell

      A Syracuse man was arrested for patronizing a teenage prostitute, which was actually an undercover police officer.

      Thomas M. Bell, 58, of Tanner Road, was arrested by Syracuse Police Detectives on Thursday evening.

      Police say Bell sent and received text messages over a 10 day period with an undercover police officer, who Bell believed to be a 14-year-old girl.

      In those text messages, police say Bell offered to trade alcohol, marijuana, clothing and money in exchange for several sexual acts with the undercover officer, who he thought was a teenager.

      Police say Bell requested that officer bring a 6-year-old girl with her so that he could also have sex with that child.

      Bell also sent a sexually explicit photograph to the undercover officer.

      Police arrested Bell in the city of Syracuse when he arrived to pick up the fictitious 14-year-old girl.

      At the time of Bell's arrest, police say Bell had a package of marijuana with him and $100 hidden in his wallet.