SPOKANE, Wash. – Child Exploitation Task Forces in Washington State arrested three people suspected of exploiting children and/or adults in the area.
According to a release from the FBI, officials contacted 32 adult females being exploited through prostitution, and found some of the adults had been forced into prostitution as juveniles.
Between October 12 and 15, investigators made contact with young women who were offered in online ads for paid, sexual services. Undercover agents met with them and interviewed them for information that could help identify and locate the suspects responsible for their exploitation. The FBI said operations took place across the state, in Burlington, Everett, Fife, Kent, Spokane, and throughout King, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, and Spokane counties.
FBI officials said all the victims were offered referrals to and information about services like job training, housing, and counseling. They said victims were also provided with medical and safety assistance.
The investigation was a part of a nationwide effort called Operation Cross Country XI. Officials said in a release pimps and their victims often travel across the country to engage in prostitution and do not necessarily reside in the area where they are arrested. The FBI partners with local agencies to “cast a broad net for better opportunity to identify, locate, and recover victims before they are moved to another area.”
Spokane and other Eastern Washington agencies worked on the October operation.