7 accused of soliciting minors online

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Authorities have charged six area residents and a Fayette County man after a sting operation involving Parkersburg Police and investigators with the national Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Five of those arrested after the sting on Friday and Saturday face a felony state charge of solicitation of a minor. They are:

- Stephen P. Tyler, 36, of Parkersburg
- Randall F. Shepherd, 41, of Parkersburg
- Roger D. Roush, 49, Vienna
- Scott J. Hartshorn, 33, of Chloe
- Brian M. Mason, 41 of Mt. Hope

All five were arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court, and as of Monday afternoon, they were being held on a $200,000 bond each at the North Central Regional Jail.

Authorities also arrested Ryan S. Kibble, 38, of Parkersburg, and Thomas W. Parks, Jr., 38, of Reedsville. They’re being held at the South Central Regional Jail on charges related to the investigation.

In a news release, Parkersburg Police Chief Joseph Martin, whose department is a member of ICAC task force, said investigators always consider crimes against children a very serious matter.

“These predators are now off the street, and we as a department will continue to be proactive and aggressive identifying and arresting those who prey on our children,” he said.