9 Contacts in Everett Area Part of FBI Juvenile Prostitution Sweep

June 23, 2014

Everett, Police Blotter

FBI Operation Cross Country

The FBI contacted nearly a dozen people in a single day in Everett-Marysville during an investigation of juvenile prostitution

In a single day last week, agents with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force worked with Everett Police in contacting 9 adults engaged in prostitution, along with two other adults suspected of being involved in promoting prostitution in the Everett-Marysville area. The suspects were using the internet to make their contacts and appointments with many coming to Everett-Marysville from as long as an hour away. The Everett area operation was just one piece of what Ayn Dietrich of the FBI said was Operation Cross Country VIII. Here’s an excerpt from a press release on the operation…

This week, two Child Exploitation Task Forces (CETFs) in Washington state recovered four juveniles and 56 adults being victimized through prostitution. Some of the adult victims had been forced into engaging in prostitution since they were juveniles. The week-long local operations were part of Operation Cross Country VIII (OCC8), a coordinated national enforcement action that is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative.

In Washington state, the CETFs recovered four child victims and arrested 13 subjects suspected of commercially exploiting children and/or adults and related crimes. The CETFs interviewed seven other subjects suspected of involvement in this criminal activity. The CETFs also identified and/or interviewed 56 adults engaged in prostitution, which provided significant leads toward identifying other juveniles that are being victimized through prostitution. The CETFs recovered large sums of cash and a gun during the operations.

Operations took place June 16-19, 2014, in Everett, Kent, Lacey, Lakewood, Tacoma, Tukwila, Olympia, and Seattle. Victims and the pimps travel throughout western Washington to work and do not necessarily reside in the area where they were located this week. The Lakewood operation continued in to Portland, Oregon, where some of the subjects were arrested.

The multi-agency CETFs, working with additional partnering agencies, made contact with young women involved in prostitution through the use of undercover agents and detectives and by canvassing areas where street prostitution is known to occur.

All the victims were offered a variety of services within the community, such as job training, housing, counseling, and medical and education assistance.

The FBI Seattle Division works with law enforcement partners on two dedicated Child CETFs in Washington state, based in Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma.

While none of those contacted in the Everett-Marysville operation were juveniles, Dietrich told MyEverettNews.com that many adults engaging in prostitution started out as teenagers. Many have been forced into prostitution through violence, threats, and economic entrapment. “This isn’t a case of the Hollywood Pretty Woman story where some 40-year-old decides to do this for glamour and easy money,” said Dietrich. She had three basic messages for those involved in the prostitution trade in Everett and beyond…

  • For those working as prostitutes, help and resources are available from the FBI and local law enforcement to get out of the life and it is in fact possible to get out.
  • For the pimps, both male and female. The FBI is learning where you are and are going to come find you and put you out of business.
  • For customers, reconsider that the person you’ve “hired” is probably a victim. They’ve likely been forced into this life and is someone’s daughter or son. By participating in this activity you keep the cycle of abuse going.

Everett Police were assisting the FBI in last week’s operation but often run investigations on their own to crack down on prostitution in Everett.

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About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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