PUTNAM COUNTY, WV (WOWK)—Multiple people were arrested over the weekend after the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office says they conducted an undercover operation.

They say that the suspects traveled to Putnam County to meet up with who they believed to be a 14-year-old child they met online. The nature of their meeting was allegedly sexual.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Hurricane Police Department, Putnam County Prosecutor’s Office, Beckley Police Department, West Virginia State Police, and the US Department of Homeland Security were involved in the undercover initiative.

One of the suspects arrested, Joel Ray Cook, of Hamlin allegedly communicated with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl via Reddit. A criminal complaint says that Cook spoke about engaging in sexual activities and drove to the Go Mart location on State Route 34 in Hurricane to try to meet up with the girl. There, he was confronted by law enforcement. He is charged with soliciting a minor.

Another suspect, Rudy Lee Raynes, of Eleanor, allegedly communicated on the app Grindr with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old boy. Deputies say that he communicated with this person about engaging in sexual activities. A criminal complaint says that Raynes traveled to the Eleanor Fairgrounds to meet up with the boy. He was also confronted by law enforcement.

According to the PCSO, Raynes has made bond, but Cooks remains in the Western Regional Jail. The sheriff says there is an ongoing investigation into a third individual as part of the undercover operation, but authorities cannot release more information at this time.

Putnam County Sheriff Bobby Eggleton says that more operations like this will be conducted in the future.

“We take it very seriously here in Putnam County, and so does everybody in the state of West Virginia,” Eggleton says. “We’re going to take care of our kids one way or another. You solicit our children for sex, and we’re going to catch you. Never forget, you may think you’re talking to a 14-year-old, and it could be a cop.”

Eggleton says he also wants this incident to be a reminder to parents to be vigilant of who they’re children interact with online.

“We need to be conscious. Parents, especially, need to understand that they need to be involved in their children’s social media networks. They have a responsibility as the parent, not to necessarily be too nosey on their children, but to have access to it. They need to check because that’s where these pedophiles, these people that want to harm our children, they’re reaching out to them through social media networks.”