Everett Police “John Sting” Leads To Conviction For Sex Trafficking

May 27, 2021

Police Blotter

This was posted by Everett Police on their Facebook Page Thursday morning.

Investigation yields guilty verdict in prostitution trafficking case

Near the end of May 2019, the Criminal Intelligence Unit organized a “John Sting” operation that targeted sex buyers along known prostitution corridors in Everett with members from the department and the Snohomish County Regional Drug Task Force. During the operation, 32 year-old Bernard Gordon approached an undercover detective and asked her to work for him. He left in a vehicle with two females but was contacted by police. During the investigation, one of the females admitted Gordon was trafficking her as a prostitute.

Detectives began an in-depth investigation and learned Gordon was trafficking the two girls in the vehicle along with another female victim. He moved from city to city and made them prostitute at night, took their money and kept their property to force reliance on him. Based on a series of interviews, search warrants and the investigation, detectives worked with the King County Prosecutor’s Office to charge Gordon with human trafficking, four counts of promoting prostitution and leading organized crime. On April 12th, Gordon was found guilty on all counts and will be sentenced soon.

“Trafficking is a very real problem and this conviction likely saved countless other victims,” said Investigations Captain Jeraud Irving. “Unfortunately, victims rarely speak out and it is hard to arrest and convict pimps. This case required resolve and dedication, along with a large multijurisdictional team, for a positive outcome.”
Support for the case was provided by Everett patrol officers, the Anti-Crime Team, the Snohomish County Drug Task Force, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Victim Advocates.

Young people, especially those with risk factors such as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), youth in foster care, or those in poverty, are vulnerable to human trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Victims are usually recruited and forced to stay in the sex trade by traffickers who use fear, physical force, threats, manipulation, or other coercive and deceptive tactics. Victims are forced to exchange sexual acts with money or something of value, such as shelter, food, or drugs. Often language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement keeps victims from seeking help and makes human trafficking a hidden crime.

“Sexual exploitation is big business where traffickers often use force and drugs to control their victims,” said Seattle Police Victim Advocate Olivia Herring. “Estimates place the number of US victims forced into commercial sexual exploitation between 15,000 and 50,000, but might even be up to 325,000. Every year law enforcement works hundreds of cases to battle this travesty.”

If you or someone you know is being forced into labor or sexual exploitation, please call 1-888-3737-888 or text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733. Help is available!


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