Whatcom County, WA– The Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF) conducted their 18th, “Operation Net Nanny” sting in Western Washington and arrested seven men over the course of several days as part of an operation that identifies people allegedly involved in the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
This multi-day operation involved the Washington State Patrol (WSP), local Snohomish County law enforcement agencies and several partner agencies. These cases will be reviewed by the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to determine whether or what criminal charges should be filed. Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell stated, “I am very proud of the deputy prosecuting attorneys from my office who worked diligently to assist in this critical investigation alongside the Washington State Patrol and other criminal justice partners.”
Dubbed “Operation Net Nanny,” this is the 18th operation spearheaded by the WSP’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF), an Internet Crimes Against Children affiliate. Since the original operation in August of 2015, MECTF has netted a total of 294 and rescued more than 31 children across the state.
MECTF’s primary mission during this operation is to proactively target those persons involved in child abuse and child exploitation via the internet. “While the internet is a powerful tool for information in people’s lives, criminals use the same technology to commit unspeakable crimes against vulnerable populations including the young. Working with our local, state, and federal partners in law enforcement in operations like Net Nanny, we use every available resource to pursue the guilty and protect the innocent.” says WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “This operation is aimed at protecting our vulnerable children and making our communities safer.”
Those arrested include 25-year old Nicholas Jerman of Bellingham, 38-year old Eric Orth of Bellingham, 31-year old Colin Wood of Seattle, 56-year old Richard Rettig of Monroe, 23-year old Anthony Scott of Everett, 34-year old Kevin Pickett of Arlington and 21-year old Michael Barbee of Everett. The seven men are accused of crimes ranging from Rape of a Child in the 1st degree-attempted, Rape of a Child in the second degree-attempted, Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Communication with a minor for immoral purposes and Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.
The Collaborative Effort involved more than 70 Law Enforcement Officers, agents, and staff including the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, Washington State Patrol (WSP), Everett Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).
Anyone with information related to the suspects listed, or information leading to the identity of victims potentially involved in these cases please contact MECTF at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MECTF is a state law enforcement agency governed by RCW 13.60.110, and not designated as a 501 (c)(3) charity. All donations made to MECTF go directly to MECTF and are used explicitly in the identification and safe recovery of exploited children, the investigation of those sexually exploiting children, and successful apprehension and prosecution thereof. Please consult with your tax professional or the Internal Revenue Service to determine if your donation is tax exempt. To donate and support MECTF, please visit: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/crime/mectf/
Information Provided by Washington State Patrol Trooper Rocky Oliphant. Twitter WSPD7PIO