Captain Monica Alexander
Government and Media Relations
(360) 596-4010 – office
(360) 596-4015 – fax

*** For Immediate Release***

Date: December 22, 2015
Contact: Kyle Moore
Sergeant J. Paul Cagle
Phone: (360)596-4013 or (360) 596-4014
E-mail: or
Twitter: @wastatepatrol

10 Arrested and Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child and Sexual Exploitation of a Child

Pierce County -- Washington State Patrol's (WSP) Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF), arrested 10 people during a two-week operation that targeted individuals who sexually exploit children.

The Pierce County operation concluded on December 19, 2015, with the arrest and charging of 10 people for either sexual abuse of a child or sexual exploitation of a child.

Law enforcement officers acting in an undercover capacity, communicated on the internet with individuals interested in sexual exploitation of children. The operation generated hundreds of responses. Ten individuals agreed to meet with undercover investigators and were subsequently arrested. This was a collaborative effort involving the Washington State Patrol's (WSP) Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF),Richland Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff's Office, Tacoma Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, United States Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Pierce County Prosecutors, and The State Attorneys Office.

Child exploitation is a serious problem in our country. Without the dedication and passion of organizations and task forces such as the Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF), Operation Underground Railroad, Missing and Unidentified Person's Unit, (MUPU) The Federal Bureau of Investigations Child Exploitation Task Force and the High Tech Crimes Unit, these arrests may not have been possible.

The operation was made possible by the generous efforts of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to rescuing children around the world who are victims of sex slavery and assisting law enforcement in the prosecution of trafficking offenders. In addition to providing resources, O.U.R. operators, comprised of men and women who are internationally recognized experts in human trafficking and violence against women, played an active role in the development of the operation and were present throughout this mission.

The WSP is very proud of all the men and woman involved in bringing these individuals to justice.

More information about the various groups and task forces involved can be found online or call:

Operation Underground Railroad
Washington State Patrol - MECTF
Jerry Gowen
Investigative Assistance Division
Chief Operating Officer
PO Box 2347
Phone: (503) 313-0522
Olympia, WA 98507-2347
Phone: (360) 704-2410
Fax: (360 704-2973

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children