Task Force Operation in Everett Recovers 13 Victims of Sex Trafficking in Washington State
Nine federal, state, and local law enforcement partners participate
On Friday, October 19, 2018, an FBI Seattle Division Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF), along with additional local partners, conducted an operation in the Everett, WA, area to recover juvenile victims of sex trafficking and identify subjects suspected of commercially exploiting children and/or adults, and other related crimes. The CETF contacted 11 adult females and two juvenile females being exploited through prostitution.
No arrests were made, but interviews with subjects promoting and adults engaging in prostitution provided significant actionable leads regarding human trafficking occurring in multiple jurisdictions within the area of responsibility of the FBI’s Seattle Division.
Operations began on Friday, October 19, 2018, and concluded in the early morning hours of Saturday, October, 20, 2018. Operations occurred in Everett, WA, but victims and the pimps travel throughout the state of Washington to work and do not necessarily reside in the area where they were located during the operation.
The multi-agency CETF, working with additional partnering agencies, made contact with young women who were offered in online advertisements for paid, sexual services. Undercover agents and detectives met them and interviewed them to help identify and locate those responsible for their sexual exploitation.
All of the victims were offered referrals to, and information on, a variety of services within the community, such as job training, housing, counseling, medical care, and education assistance. Any immediate medical and safety needs were addressed. The FBI’s Seattle Division works with law enforcement partners on three dedicated CETFs in Washington State, based in Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma.
- The North-Central Sound CETF is a partnership between the FBI, the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Mt. Vernon, Oak Harbor, Port of Seattle, SeaTac, Seattle, and Tukwila police departments.
- The South Sound CETF in Tacoma is a partnership between the FBI, Washington State Patrol (Missing & Exploited Children’s Task Force and High Tech Crimes Unit), Lakewood Police Department, Tacoma Police Department, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
- The Spokane CETF is a partnership between the FBI, Spokane Police Department, and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
CETFs provide a rapid and effective investigative response to reported federal crimes involving the exploitation of children. The task forces strive to reduce the vulnerability of children to acts of sexual exploitation and abuse, and to strengthen the capabilities of federal, state, and local law enforcement through training programs and investigative assistance.
Agencies participating in the October 19, 2018 operation included the FBI’s Seattle Field Office, Seattle Police Department, Everett Police Department, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Oak Harbor Police Department, Customs and Border Protection—Office of Field Operation and Border Patrol, Washington State Patrol, Port of Seattle Police Department, and the Lummi Nation Police Department. ###