BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– James Edward Cook, age 43 of Arnett, was sentenced to 24 years and four months in prison, along with 25 years of supervised release for attempted enticement of a minor.

According to the US Department of Justice, in December of 2021, Cook was communicating with a girl from Beckley on Facebook that he believed to be nine years old. He admitted to discussing sexually explicit topics with her, along with offering to teach her about sex and encouraged her to take explicit pictures of herself. He also admitted to telling the girl that he wanted to be her first sexual partner. He promised her gifts, including a cell phone.

Cook spoke to the girl twice on the phone to instruct her to prepare for their sexual intercourse. He would later admit to telling the minor that he would video them.

On December 28, 2021, Cook arranged a meeting with the minor outside a Raleigh County school, coaching her to tell the driver that he was picking her up. He gained a ride from a friend and when he arrived to the location he was arrested by law enforcement.

Forensic study on his phone and Facebook account showed that he had several conversations with minors.

US District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentence, and Assistant United States Attorney Julie M. White prosecuted the case. Cook will also have to register as a sex offender.