Over the last few days, the King County Sheriff’s Office – along with the SeaTac and Burien Police Departments – have conducted an operation to apprehend subjects who have targeted minors for the purposes of prostitution.

Here’s more from the Sheriff’s Office:

These subjects regularly use the anonymity of the internet, and out-of-country online applications, to arrange to meet and exploit these vulnerable victims.

The work to identify and locate these subjects is significant and time consuming. It requires undercover detectives to take on the role of juveniles who are under the age of 15 and actively engage these predators in conversation.

Over the course of the two-day operation, detectives posed as an underage girl and engaged in over 900 texts/voice conversations.

The “underage girl” arranged to meet the suspects at a local motel. When the men arrived, they were arrested. 7 arrests were made. Why so few? The elements for violation of Commercial Sex Abuse of a Minor (CSAM) requires various overt actions by the suspect (like going to the motel) before probable cause for arrest is met.

We are committed to vigorously investigating these horrible crimes. If you are aware of any juveniles being victimized or exploited, please contact us at 206/296-3311.

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