Excerpts from WSP’s Press Release
21 dangerous sexual predators who targeted children in Pierce County, WA were removed from the Puyallup community thanks to a multi-day operation run by the Washington State Patrol (WSP), and several local law enforcement partners and affiliates. Dubbed “Operation Net Nanny,” this was the 13th operation around the state with a mission to proactively target those persons involved in child abuse and child exploitation via the internet.
In addition to the identified suspects, detectives believe 4 suspects have been recognized as having access to over 10 children at risk of being abused.
Supplemental follow-up investigations are currently underway to identify those children and arrange for the appropriate assistance for any abuse they may have been exposed to.
The Net Nanny operations began in August of 2015
by the Washington State Patrol (WSP). There have been 12 additional operations throughout Washington State since. The WSP Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF), an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) affiliate, spearheads the multi-agency operation that includes partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement.
The “Net Nanny” series, conducted throughout the State of Washington, has now netted a total of 205 arrests and rescued over 30 identified child victims throughout the state.
“While the Internet is a powerful tool for our nation, criminals using it to target our communities’ necessitates a need for this type of proactive investigations by our law enforcement troopers and partners in order to combat these horrible crimes,” says WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “This operation is protecting our vulnerable children and making communities safer.”
Undercover law enforcement officers communicated on the internet through various websites and mobile phone applications with people interested in having sex with children. The operation generated hundreds of responses. The would-be perpetrators who were arrested over the five day operation traveled to meet with undercover detectives posing as young girls and boys with the intent to engage in sexual activity with children as young as nine years old.
The funding for this operation was made possible due in part by support from the public as well as a generous donation from Operation Underground Railroad.
Collaboration is a vital part in this fight against child sex trafficking. “Operation Underground Railroad is privileged and honored to support Washington State Patrol in safeguarding children from sexual predators,” – President of O.U.R. Operations Jonathon Lines. “WSP’s commitment to combatting the sexual exploitation of children is a credit to our law enforcement heroes.”
What can YOU Do?
Want to hear more about the great work from our partners in Washington State?
Read about past Net Nanny operations here.