Police dragnet busts over 100 ‘Johns’ in week-long sting
Bellevue police and the King County Sheriff’s Office opened their own “brothel” last week, setting up a sting in a condominium.
“A year ago, the Bellevue Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office dismantled a large scale human trafficking ring,” said Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett. “This operation is a continuation of our effort to eradicate human trafficking crimes. We will continue to devote our combined resources to combat this plague.”
By the end of the operation on Friday, Sept. 1 in a condo a couple blocks north of Bellevue’s downtown, police arrested 110 men and impounded 105 cars, two motorcycles and one bicycle, according to Bellevue police.
Over the course of seven days, dozens of unsuspecting sex buyers answered online ads posted by undercover detectives, then exchanged often-explicit text messages describing the sex acts they expected to buy. They were arrested after showing up at the condo and agreeing to exchange money for sex.
Law enforcement throughout King County has been targeting buyers of sex as part of an ongoing push to reduce the demand for prostitution. The goal is to reduce human trafficking in the Puget Sound region.
This investigation was a joint operation involving the Bellevue Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office, NORCOM 911, the Washington State Fusion Center, and the City of Bellevue Prosecutor’s Office.