ICE HSI, arrest 7 in targeting child sexual exploitation sting

SEATTLE – Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), along with 70 other local and federal law enforcement agencies, arrested seven men in Snohomish County as part of an operation identifying individuals allegedly involved in the sexual abuse and exploitation of children, announced Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Debra Parker of HSI Seattle.

This multi-day operation involved HSI, Washington State Patrol (WSP), local Snohomish County law enforcement agencies and several partner agencies. These cases will be reviewed by the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney's Office to determine whether or what criminal charges should be filed.

“When criminals victimize children via the internet, the abuse can have a long-lasting effect,” said SAC Debra Parker. “This is why HSI, along with our law enforcement partners, worked tirelessly to seek and remove these seven predators from our community”
Dubbed “Operation Net Nanny,” this is the 18th operation spearheaded by the WSP’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF), an Internet Crimes Against Children affiliate. Since the original operation in August of 2015, MECTF has netted a total of 294 and rescued more than 31 children across the state.

Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell stated, "I am very proud of the deputy prosecuting attorneys from my office who worked diligently to assist in this critical investigation alongside the Washington State Patrol and other criminal justice partners."

MECTF’s primary mission during this operation is to proactively target those persons involved in child abuse and child exploitation via the internet. "While the internet is a powerful tool for information in people's lives, criminals use the same technology to commit unspeakable crimes against vulnerable populations including the young. Working with our local, state, and federal partners in law enforcement in operations like Net Nanny, we use every available resource to pursue the guilty and protect the innocent.” says WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “This operation is aimed at protecting our vulnerable children and making our communities safer.”

The names of the individuals arrested during the operation are:

  1. Jerman, Nicholas, 25, Bellingham
  2. Orth, Eric R., 38, Bellingham
  3. Wood, Colin M., 31, Seattle
  4. Rettig, Richard E., 56, Monroe
  5. Scott, Anthony J., 23, Everett
  6. Pickett, Kevin F.,34, Arlington
  7. Barbee, Michael A., 21, Everett

Primary crimes investigated are:

  • Rape of a child in the first degree – attempt
  • Rape of a child in the second degree – attempt
  • Commercial sexual abuse of a minor
  • Communication with a minor for immoral purposes
  • Sexual Exploitation of a minor

The success of this operation is due to the collaboration of and more than 70 dedicated law enforcement officers, agents, and staff. Those agencies included:

  • Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force
  • Washington State Patrol
  • Everett Police Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Naval Criminal Investigative Service

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