For five days in February 2018, Washington state detectives posed as underage boys and girls online and received more than 100 responses from persons soliciting sexual activity with them. The 15th “Net Nanny” operation conducted by the Missing and Exploited Children Task Force led to the arrests of 25 people.
“We always think no one will show up but they always do,” said Washington State Sergeant Carlos Rodriguez. “I‘m glad we can remove them from society but it is also hurtful to know people are showing up to have sex with children.”
The multi-agency task force has made more than 246 arrests and rescued more than 30 children since the operations began in 2015. The alleged perpetrators are arrested after they arrive at the location the task force arranged for meeting the child. Some arrive with child pornography on their mobile devices.
Washington AMBER Alert Coordinator and Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit Program Manager Carri Gordon was also involved in the operation. “We feel this operation was very successful,” said Gordon. “We removed some really bad people who cannot victimize any more kids.”
Detectives say some of the recovered children have come from homes of the perpetrators or homes where they have access. Many of the people who were arrested are already on the sex offender registry. “What does a sex offender look like? They look like you, me and everyone else,” added Rodriguez.