SPRINGFILED, Fla. (WMBB)– On Saturday, the Springfield Police Department received a report of a potential child molestation that occurred approximately ten years prior. According to the department, during the investigation, it was determined 59-year-old William Howard Melton molested the victim, beginning around the time the victim was 4 years of age until the victim was approximately 6 years of age.
Throughout the course of the investigation, authorities said it was determined Melton was a convicted felon, and information was developed Melton was in possession of a large number of firearms and possible explosives at his residence.
On February 20, 2021, Melton was taken into custody during a traffic stop conducted by the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Recovery Task Force.
Shortly after Melton was taken into custody, a search warrant was served on his residence on Santee Drive by investigators from the Springfield Police Department.
Inside the residence, eleven rifles, twelve handguns, ten firearm suppressors, thousands of rounds of ammunition, numerous ballistics vests and helmets, and potential homemade explosives were located, police said.
Melton was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation on a child l to 12 years of age, twenty-three counts of felon in possession of a firearm, six counts of felon in possession of ammunition, unlawful alteration of a firearm, and possession of a short barrel shotgun.
Melton is currently at the Bay County Jail awaiting first appearance.