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Crime

Tennessee Couple Allegedly Tried to Sell 5-Month-Old Son for $3,000 on Craigslist

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A Tennessee couple is in jail after authorities allege they tried to sell their 5-month-old son on Craigslist to an undercover agent for $3,000, PEOPLE confirms.

“We did it. We bought a baby,” the Greene County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Chief Detective Jeff Morgan tells PEOPLE of the couple, who are held in the Greene County Detention Center.

John David Cain, 26, and 37-year-old Deanna Lynn Greer, both of Greeneville, Tennessee, were arrested during the alleged transaction Friday afternoon in a Dollar General parking lot.

They are each charged with aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect or endangerment. It could not be determined if they have entered pleas.

Attorney Jonathan Cave Sr., appointed to defend Cain, declined through his office to comment on the case. A call by PEOPLE to the Greene County office of the Tennessee Public Defender, which was appointed for Greer, was not immediately returned.

Greer’s bond was set at $150,000. Cain, who has since been served with a warrant as a fugitive from charges of embezzlement and breaking-and-entering in North Carolina, is being held with no bond.

Greene County Sheriff's Office getty

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Morgan says the alleged sale offer was first discovered by a couple in Elizabethton, Tennessee, who spotted the Craiglist posting.

“They had spoken with the parents of this child and it was posted on Craigslist, but not as a child for sale,” he says. “It was an adoption-type ad.”

Morgan says that once the couple “realized what was happening, they alerted the authorities in their community — who contacted the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and then me, and then the FBI got involved.”

“We very quickly put a team together,” he says.

An undercover TBI agent arranged to meet with Cain and Greer on Friday outside the Dollar General store in southern Greene County, and the couple allegedly accepted $3,000 in cash in exchange for the child, Morgan says.

“They did have a story, and I don’t think I’ll be able to share that just yet because it’s still an ongoing investigation,” he says. “They had everything — birth certificate, shot records.”

He declined to reveal more about the boy, who is now in the custody of the state’s Department of Children’s Services.

The embezzlement charge awaiting Cain stems from his alleged use of a credit card from a Wilmington, North Carolina-based construction company, according to The Greeneville Sun.

Cain also faces a misdemeanor charge in North Carolina in connection with an alleged Aug. 6, 2016, break-in and damage to a Wilmington car lot.

The couple is scheduled to be back in court for a preliminary hearing on April 7. Federal charges against them may also be forthcoming, the Greene County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ray Allen Jr. told the Sun.