A Bledsoe County mom foiled a 52-year-old Jasper, Tenn., man's attempt to start an inappropriate relationship with her 16-year-old daughter, officials said this week.
The teen's mother, whose name has not been released, became suspicious when the man reportedly tried to "form an inappropriate relationship with her daughter," according to a statement posted this week on the Bledsoe County Sheriff's Department's Facebook page.
The man, Anthony Pippin, contacted the girl's mother after she inquired about some items Pippin had for sale on a social media site, officials said. Pippin asked through the site whether he was "talking to the daughter," and "after a couple of short conversations thinking he was corresponding with the minor it was apparent that Mr. Pippin had intentions on forming a relationship," officials said.
The girl's mother contacted Bledsoe County Sheriff's Office Sgt. George Hodge, who worked with the mother to arrange a "meeting" between the "minor" and Pippin at a location in South Bledsoe County, officials said.
However, when Pippin entered Bledsoe County he was stopped by Hodge and deputies Adam Frazier and Drake Brown. The officers asked Pippin where he was headed and he gave the fictional address he was given during the online conversation on Facebook Messenger. That's when Pippin learned he was actually chatting with Hodge, not a 16-year-old girl, officials said.
Pippin had no comment other than, "Yes sir, I understand," officials said.
Police found drugs and drug paraphernalia in his possession, Hodge said this week.
"The charges he's facing right now are possession of Schedule VI drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and contributing to the delinquency of a minor," Hodge said.
But more serious charges could be coming.
"The charges I'll be taking before the grand jury next month — for trying to contact a minor and set up a date to have sex, and the other things that transpired between the two of us thinking that I was a minor — all that stuff will be going to the grand jury on Nov. 27," Hodge said.
Meanwhile, Pippin is free on a $3,500 bond.
Bledsoe authorities said the case serves as a reminder for parents to monitor their children's activities on social media.
Contact staff writer Ben Benton at email@example.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.