Jefferson County, WA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Jefferson County is a county located in Washington State with a population of approximately 34,000 residents. Its county seat is Port Townsend. Instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the county, with local brothels in Port Townsend dating back to the 1800s. These activities and their ancillary crimes have generated complaints to local law enforcement from residents and businesses for many decades. Among the more serious. contemporary issues associated with the county’s commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.

Efforts to combat the demand for commercial sex in the area have been employed by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. For example, in 2017, the Sheriff’s office participated in the FBI‘s annual investigation, Operation Cross County XI, which focused on recovering victims of child sex trafficking and apprehending sex buyers and traffickers. As a result of the investigation, three individuals were arrested on suspicion of commercially exploiting child and/or adults.

Additionally, in March 2018, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office participated in a four-day multi-agency child sex trafficking operation called Operation Net Nanny. The operation was led by the Washington State Patrol and involved undercover officers posting decoy ads on websites known for prostitution and sex trafficking and communicating with potential sex buyers and sex traffickers. Each of the suspects expressed interested in having sex with children. As a result of the investigation, 10 male suspects were arrested after they traveled to meet with undercover detectives posing as young boys and girls. The suspects ranged from 20 to 77 years old. One of the suspects was also identified as having access to children at risk of being abused. Investigators also said seven children were identified as potential victims of sex abuse crimes during the operation. The identities and ages of arrested offenders were released by the Washington State Patrol to local media outlets.

State Washington
Type County
Population 33605
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