Washington State Patrol troopers in the past week arrested 21 men they said planned to rape children but instead were talking with undercover law enforcement.
Operation Net Nanny, run out of Pierce County, had undercover officers communicate online and through social media with people who expressed an interest in having sex with children. Hundreds of people responded, State Patrol Lt. James Mjor said in a news release.
Over five days, the men were arrested while traveling to meet with the “children,” who they thought were as young as 9, Mjor said.
▪ Two Tacoma men, ages 24 and 19.
▪ Two Lakewood men, ages 29 and 24.
▪ A Joint Base Lewis-McChord man, age 19.
▪ Two Puyallup men, ages 59 and 26.
▪ Two Federal Way men, ages 51 and 22.
▪ Two Auburn men, ages 37 and 22.
▪ An Olympia man, age 65.
▪ A Shelton man, age 70.
▪ An Aberdeen man, age 24.
▪ A Port Orchard man, age 57.
▪ A Bremerton man, age 29.
▪ Three Seattle men, ages 27, 24 and 22.
▪ A Lynnwood man whose age was not provided.
▪ A Gresham, Oregon, man, age 34.
This was the 13th Net Nanny operation the State Patrol has undertaken since August 2015, Mjor said. More than 200 people have been arrested, and 30 child victims rescued in that time.
The men face charges that include attempted first-degree child rape, attempted second-degree child rape, commercial sex abuse of a minor and possession of child pornography.
County and local law enforcement agencies throughout Washington, along with military police and federal agencies, helped the State Patrol in the operation.