Jefferson County ‘Net Nanny’ operation leads to 10 arrests

For the Reporter

Ten dangerous sexual predators who targeted children in Jefferson County have been taken off the streets, thanks to a multi-day operation run by law enforcement, county prosecutors and victim advocate specialists.

The arrests included Ming Lee, 20, of Auburn.

Additionally, seven children were identified as potential victims of sex abuse crimes.

Washington State Patrol began the operation, “Net Nanny,” in August 2015. Since the original operation, there have been 10 additional operations in the state. WSP Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF), an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) affiliate, led the multi-agency operation that included partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement.

The “Net Nanny” series, conducted throughout the state, has netted a total of 170 arrests and rescued 24 child victims identified during the operations.

“Sexual predators are using the internet to target our most vulnerable members of our community,” says WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “This operation not only protects our children from dangerous criminals but also makes our communities safer by taking these predators off the streets.”

For the four-day operation, law enforcement officers, acting in an undercover capacity, communicated on the internet through various websites with individuals interested in having sex with children. The operation generated hundreds of responses. The would-be perpetrators who were arrested in the operation traveled to meet with undercover detectives posing as young girls and boys with the intent to engage in sexual activity with them.

In addition to the 10 suspects that were arrested, one suspect was identified as having access to children at risk of being abused. Additional follow-up investigations are underway to identify those children. For any children who were abused, they will be offered the appropriate assistance to help them with their needs.

All cases will be presented to the Jefferson County Prosecutor office.

“These are troubling cases and remind us just how vulnerable our children are to predators. I am very proud of the members of the law enforcement community and the Jefferson County and Clallam County Deputy Prosecutors who participated in this investigation,” says Michael Haas, Jefferson County prosecuting attorney.