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Task force officers arrest 9 for drugs, prostitution
SUQUAMISH -- Officers from a joint task force arrested nine persons for prostitution and drug-related offenses Wednesday in Suquamish.
“One very important point that needs to be emphasized is that this task force operation was conducted with the cooperation of Port Madison Enterprises, the Suquamish Tribe and Suquamish Tribal Police Department,” Sheriff Steve Boyer said in a press release issued by his department.
“The Tribe recognizes that human trafficking is an issue affecting this region and state, this nation and the world. The sexual exploitation of persons is abhorrent, and in no manner does the Tribe condone such activity on its properties. The use of the hotel was an agreement solely to set a stage, or location, to conduct this operation. We are very grateful for their cooperation in this endeavor.”
Arrested and booked into Kitsap County Jail on a single charge of prostitution were:
-- Female, age 20, of Bremerton.
-- Female, age 20, of Bremerton.
-- Female, age 24, of Bremerton.
-- Female, age 27, of Bremerton.
-- Female, age 29, of Seattle.
The women were released on personal recognizance pending a summons to appear in court, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.
-- Female, 21, of Sequim. She was booked into jail on a charge of possession of methamphetamine. Bail: $25,000.
-- Female, 22, of Bremerton. She was booked into jail on a charge of prostitution and for outstanding arrest warrants. Bail: $5,000.
-- Female, 40, of Bremerton. She was booked into jail on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and for driving while license suspended, and released on personal recognizance pending summons to appear in court.
-- Male, 31, of Bremerton. He was booked into jail on charges of second-degree promoting prostitution, and for possession of cocaine and driving while license suspended. Bail: $50,000.
Their names were not released Wednesday because none have been formally charged yet.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office had been investigating suspected prostitution of juvenile victims, and detectives had identified several high-risk victims in Kitsap County.
Two task forces teamed up to form a joint task force to assist with the investigation: The South Sound Child Exploitation Task Force, and the Missing and Exploited Children Task Force.
Participating agencies consisted of:
-- Federal Bureau of Investigation
-- Department of Homeland Security Investigations
-- Lakewood Police Department
-- Tacoma Police Department
-- Washington State Patrol
-- Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office
-- Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office
-- Poulsbo Police Department
-- Suquamish Tribe Police Department
The base for the task force operation was the Clearwater Casino Resort Hotel, involving close coordination with Suquamish Tribe police, casino security and surveillance, and task force agencies, according to Wilson.
Wilson said the task force action “is just one part of a continuous, ongoing investigation into human trafficking/child exploitation. Future joint task force operations in the county are expected.”