Franklin County is located in central Washington state. Pasco is the county seat and is one of three cities that make up the Tri-Cities region of the state (along with Richland, and Kennewick). Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in Pasco and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Franklin County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the Pasco Police Department has conducted reverse stings, some in collaboration with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies. The operations are usually conducted in response to complaints from residents and businesses.
- Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
- Pasco Police Department
- “Pasco Prostitution Sting,” NBC/KNDO-TV 23.
- “Prostitution Alleged,” Spokane Daily Chronicle, February 19 1980.
- “Police Pleased by Success of Sex-Solicitation Sting,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 28 1990.
- https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/crime/article222108015.html (2018)
Background on Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Richland Man Sentenced for Prostitution”, Tri-City Herald, May 12 2012.
- “Pasco Man Accused of Trying to Force Woman into Prostitution,” Bellingham Herald, June 8 2015.
- https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/crime/article39032466.html (2015)
- https://keprtv.com/news/local/local-police-arrest-seven-in-prostitution-sting-with-fbi (2016)
- https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/crime (2018)
- https://keprtv.com/news/local/police-arrest-8-in-pasco-sex-trafficking-bust (2018)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Local Prostitution Moving Online”, CBS/KEPR-TV 19, January 24 2013.
- “Prostitution Sting Reveals Action in Tri-Cities,” CBS/KEPR-TV 19, October 15 2015.
- https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/crime/article221923625.html (2018)
- https://keprtv.com/news/local/local-police-arrest-seven-in-prostitution-sting-with-fbi (2018)
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Newport Police Officer Arrested; New Officer Admits Hiring Pasco Prostitute, Denies Rape Charge,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, May 5 1999.
- “Cop Accused of Rape Won’t Be Paid, Chief Switches Newport Officer’s Status to Unpaid Administrative Leave,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, May 12 1999.
- “Cop Charged in Prostitution Case; Newport Officer Was Originally Suspected of Rape, But Woman’s Story Called Flawed,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, June 16 1999.
- “Former Newport Cop Pleads Guilty to Patronizing Prostitute,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, July 15 1999.
- “Ex-Pasco Police Officer Is Suspect in 1986 Killing; DNA Evidence Linked to Spokane Case, Police Say,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, May 1 2015.
- “Former Pasco Cop Arrested in Prostitute’s Death,” Seattle Times, June 3 2015.