22 people have been successfully convicted of child sex crimes thanks to the work of detectives from the Washington State Patrol (WSP) Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF). The task force spearheads multi-agency operations, including federal, state, and local law enforcement, aimed at finding and recovering sexually exploited children and apprehending child predators.
“These convictions are exactly the outcomes we had hoped for because these child predators are using the internet to engage in horrendous criminal acts against vulnerable children,” says Lt. Mike Eggleston, the commander of the WSP Special Investigations Section who oversees MECTF. “It’s our job to stop as many child predators as we can.”
In addition to the convictions, 18 sexually exploited children were identified and recovered last year thanks to the work of the dedicated WSP detectives.
Detectives from MECTF have run four “Net Nanny Operations” across the state. In these operations, WSP detectives partner with local city and county law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and child protection services agencies to catch criminals. During each multi-day operation, undercover detectives post online ads to communicate with predators seeking to engage in sexual activities with children.
In 2016 alone, 22 people caught in the Net Nanny Operation have been successfully convicted with many more suspects still awaiting trials. The convicted child predators face sentences which range from 24 months to life in prison
In order to continue to fund these operations, MECTF recently rolled out a new donation page that allows the public to give monetary gifts online. All proceeds go directly to the identification and safe recovery of exploited children, the investigation of those that sexually exploit children, and successful apprehension and prosecution. This is an opportunity for the public to get involved and help stop the sexual exploitation of children in our state.
“This new donation page allows the public to become part of the solution and make a difference in their community,” says MECTF supervisor Sergeant Carlos Rodriquez. “Having the ability to accept donations that go directly towards saving children and holding the people who victimize them accountable is huge.” Sgt. Rodriguez adds, “Fighting child exploitation is a hard job but the outcome is worth it every single time. These donations will help us continue this fight.”
The Missing and Exploited Children Task Force is a state law enforcement agency governed by RCW 13.60.110, and not designated as a 501 (c)(3) charity. Please consult with your tax professional or the Internal Revenue Service to determine if your donation is tax exempt.