SPENCER - A Roane County couple were arrested this week after they allegedly tried to sell the father's 2-year-old son to a relative.
Tyler Toler, 20, and Katelyn Toler, 19, were arrested Wednesday by the West Virginia State Police after meeting with the boy's maternal grandmother in the Roane County Courthouse square in Spencer, where law enforcement officials said the father planned to sell his parental right for $2,500.
Sgt. F.L. Hammack of the West Virginia State Police said being at the courthouse, there were lawyers' offices in the area where they could have gone to draw up the paperwork for an adoption or do a transfer of custody.
Tyler Toler and Katelyn Toler
The grandmother alerted law enforcement and was working with them through the operation.
''We set up surveillance and audio at the courthouse,'' Hammack said.
Law enforcement got the exchange and arrested the couple as they were making their way to a lawyer's office, officials said.
The couple were each charged with the prohibited sale of a child and conspiracy to commit a felony. They are being held on $200,000 bond each at the Central Regional Jail.
The $2,500 was for the cost of a lawyer during a custody battle in Raleigh County that the father allegedly wanted to be reimbursed for, State Police officials said.
The child was in the custody of the grandmother. Hammack believes there will be a proceeding on how custody of the child will eventually be legally determined.
''It is a case that shocks the conscience,'' Hammack said. ''It is very unfortunate.
''People would be appalled to find out it happens more often than people think.''