Crime

10 arrested in Pierce County during online child-sex sting

A two-week operation dubbed Net Nanny ended with 10 arrests of people who allegedly showed up to have sex with children in Pierce County, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The department’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force oversaw the sting, which ended Saturday.

Undercover detectives posed online as underage girls or parents selling their children for sex and arranged meetings with nine men and one woman. When the people showed up, they were taken into custody.

“It’s good to be proactive, and we have to keep changing what we do,” said detective Sgt. Carlos Rodriguez, who heads the task force. “If we hadn’t been there to greet them, it would have been a child or a parent there to pimp out their kid.”

The task force last held a sting in August and netted nine arrests.

Other agencies involved in the recent operation included Tacoma police, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations and the State Attorney’s Office.

The following people have been charged in Pierce County Superior Court:

▪ Anthony Ray Blankenship, 32, of Tacoma. He pleaded not guilty to attempted second-degree rape of a child and communication with a minor for immoral purposes and was ordered held on $50,000 bail.

He believed he was chatting with a 13-year-old girl when he made plans to meet at a gas station for sex, according to charging papers.

When detectives arrested him, Blankenship allegedly called himself a “super citizen,” claiming he only met the girl to talk to her.

▪ Charles Andrew Drury, 50, of Puyallup. He pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree rape of a child and attempted commercial sex abuse of a minor and was ordered held on $250,000 bail.

He thought he was talking to the mother of three young girls and asked to have sex with the 8-year-old and 11-year-old, documents show.

▪ Jehran Steven Franklin, 20, of Puyallup. He pleaded not guilty to attempted second-degree rape of a child and was ordered held on $200,000 bail.

An undercover detective responded to a personal ad he’d placed on Craigslist and pretended to be a 13-year-old girl, according to charging papers. Franklin allegedly made plans to meet the girl for sex.

▪ Kenneth Paul Zimmerman, 57, of Puyallup. He pleaded not guilty to attempted second-degree rape of a child and was ordered held on $200,000 bail.

He allegedly posted an ad online saying that he was “looking for a young little girl” and agreed to meet an undercover detective posing as a 13-year-old girl for sex.

▪ Eric Kermit Jacobson, 48, of Enumclaw. He pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree child rape and attempted commercial sex abuse of a minor and was ordered held on $250,000 bail.

Jacobsen believed he was chatting with the mother of three young girls and made plans to pay for sex with an 11-year-old girl, records show.

He allegedly showed up for the meeting with Skittles, lube and condoms.

▪ Paul Anthony Carson, 59, of Olympia. He pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree child rape and was ordered held on $150,000 bail.

An undercover detective posing as a mother of three young girls agreed to let him have sex with her 11-year-old daughter. Carson said during their chat that he enjoyed the “father/daughter dynamic,” according to charging papers.

▪ Manuel Antonio Figueroa, 37, of Federal Way. He pleaded not guilty to attempted second-degree child rape and attempted commercial abuse of a minor and was ordered held on $250,000 bail.

Figueroa thought he was agreeing to sex with a 13-year-old he met online, but it was actually an undercover detective, documents show.

▪ Robert John Quintero, 49, and Shelley Dianne Harper, 51, of Vancouver, Washington. They were charged with attempted first-degree child rape and attempted commercial sex abuse of a minor and held on $250,000 bail each.

The couple made plans to have sex with a 13-year-old boy, 11-year-old girl and 8-year-old girl and agreed to bring a gift certificate for the children, documents show.

The 10th person arrested has not yet been charged.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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