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Washington Juveniles Recovered in Operation Cross Country VII

FBI Seattle July 29, 2013
  • Public Affairs Specialist Ayn Dietrich-Williams (206) 622-0460

This week, three Child Exploitation Task Forces (CETFs) in Washington state recovered juveniles and young 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 VII (OCC7), a coordinated national enforcement action that is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative.

In Washington state, the CETFs recovered three child victims and arrested nine subjects suspected of abuse of a minor and related crimes. The CETFs also identified and interviewed 55 adults engaged in prostitution, and recovered large sums of cash, two guns, a knife, a taser, and a number of stolen identification cards.

Operations took place July 24-28, 2012, in Everett, Federal Way, Kirkland, Lakewood, Renton, Seattle, Tacoma, Tukwila, and throughout King County. 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 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 women and girls 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 three dedicated Child CETFs in Washington state, based in Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma.

The Central Sound CETF is a partnership between the FBI; the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO); KCSO contracted to SeaTac Police Department; and the Seattle, Kent, Port of Seattle, and Bellevue Police Departments.

The North Sound CETF in Everett is a partnership between the FBI, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, and the Everett and Mt. Vernon Police Departments.

The South Sound CETF in Tacoma is a partnership between the FBI, the Tacoma and Lakewood Police Departments, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations directorate, and the Washington State Patrol.

Additional partners supplemented the work of Washington CETF members in OCC7. They were personnel from the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Snohomish Regional Gang and Drug Task Force, the Transportation Security Administration’s Federal Air Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Washington Department of Corrections, and the Federal Way, Fife, Kirkland, Renton, and Tukwila Police departments. Other government partners invaluable in the success of OCC7 were King County Juvenile Court Services and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services-King South Division of Children and Family Services Office.

CETFs provide a rapid and effective investigative response to reported federal crimes involving the victimization of children. The task force strives to reduce the vulnerability of children to acts of sexual exploitation and abuse and strengthens the capabilities of federal, state, and local law enforcement through training programs and investigative assistance.

Additional information on Operation Cross Country VII: