Port Orchard, 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

Port Orchard is a city of approximately 15,000 residents, situated in western Washington near Bremerton, WA. It is the county seat of Kitsap County, WA. Cases of prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the city; in January 2014, for example, a Port Orchard resident was sentenced to 50 years in prison for human trafficking, kidnapping, assault, and possession of a firearm following a 2013 investigation by officers with the nearby Bremerton Police Department. The man reportedly sex trafficked a young adult woman in Port Orchard, Port Townsend, and Bremerton after advertising her services on Backpage.com. In April 2018, a worker at at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was using his phone in a restricted area and was investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to determine whether he was using it to steal national security secrets. They found he was a pimp using text messages to arrange encounters with three prostituted women and was charged with promoting prostitution.

Among their efforts to reduce commercial sex sales in the community, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office has staged at least two reverse stings in Port Orchard. During a March 2015 investigation, KCSO officers, in partnership with the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office and officers from the Bremerton Police Department, the Bainbridge Island Police Department, and the Poulsbo Police Department, placed decoy advertisements to websites known for prostitution. Undercover officers then arranged to meet the individuals who responded to the listing at a Port Orchard motel. As a result of the investigation, seven male sex buyers were arrested and charged with patronizing a prostitute. All of the arrestees’ names and other identifying information were publicized in local media outlets.

In early February 2016, KSCO deputies conducted a second web-based reverse sting operation in partnership with colleagues from the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office and the Port Orchard Police Department. According to a KCSO press release, the investigation reportedly targeted both sex buyers and prostituted people using online advertisements, resulting in the arrest of six male sex buyers on charges of “patronizing a prostitute.” Three women were also intercepted and charged with prostitution during the sting. All of the arrestees’ ages and hometowns — but not names — were included in the KCSO press release and publicized in local media outlets.

Key Partners

  • Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Port Orchard Police Department
  • Bremerton Police Department
  • Bainbridge Island Police Department
  • Poulsbo Police Department

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:

State Washington
Type City
Population 14979
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