OLYMPIA, Wash. — Nearly two dozen suspected child sex predators are
off the streets after the Washington State Patrol conducted a sting
operation in Thurston County.
Police said they caught some repeat offenders during what they call Operation Net Nanny.
The state patrol said they made a record-setting 21 arrests, and
investigators said some of the suspects are no strangers to law
One man has a child rape conviction from 15 years ago and another had
only recently bailed out of jail for allegedly having child porn.
Kris Bennett, 52, faced a judge Tuesday afternoon. Police said he is
already in trouble with the law, accused of committing other sex crimes
“Not only just these allegations but the state is extremely concerned
defendant is pending disposition in King County,” said a Thurston
County prosecutor. “His pending charges are first-degree possession of
depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”
A judge set bail for Bennett at $1 million.
Operation Net Nanny began when detectives posted fake ads on
Craigslist offering children for sex. Police said the responses came by
the hundreds. Undercover detectives set up the meetings at a Tumwater
apartment unit that police rented out for the sting.
Between September 7 and 18, police arrested 20 men and one woman who
allegedly showed up at the apartment looking to have sex with kids.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord confirmed a news report that one of those
arrested is a 20-year-old soldier based at JBLM.
“We’re not enticing people to do something they don’t already have on
their mind,” said Lt. Michael Eggleston with WSP. “We’re just taking
advantage of their weakness.”
The sting has been a regular operation since last year, according to
Eggleston. Police have arrested 62 suspects who allegedly tried to
sexually abuse children, he said.
One of the suspects is Adam Persell of Montesano. Court records said
Persell has a 2001 conviction for child rape – he’s been charged again
with attempting to rape a child.
Along with taking suspected predators off the streets, investigators
said, this time they were able to save several children they believe may
have been victimized themselves.
“We recovered four children on this operation,” said Eggleston. “We believe that they have been subjected to abuse.”
Detectives said more arrests could happen in connection with the
latest sting. The State Patrol says this is the sixth time they have
executed Operation Net Nanny in Washington.