TACOMA, WA - Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged 21 men following an online undercover child sex sting. All were charged with Attempted Rape of a Child.
The Washington State Patrol says the men contacted undercover officers they believed to be underage children online and setup an in-person meeting for sex.
"Nothing is more important than protecting our children," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "We want to send a loud message -- don't solicit children for sex unless you want to go to prison."
In late July 2018, the Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force (MECTF) conducted an undercover “Net Nanny” operation in rural Pierce County.
The operation involved multiple state and federal law enforcement agencies, with officers posting and responding to advertisements on social media and internet websites known to cater to sexual encounters.
Undercover troopers contacted or responded to defendants online. The conversations then moved from online to texting. Explicit texts between the defendant and undercover trooper followed, discussing specifically what the men wanted to do with the children.
Once it became clear the defendants were looking for sex with a child, undercover officers arranged meetings with the defendants waited at the pre-determined location. When the men arrived at the location troopers arrested them.
The names of the individuals arrested during the operation are:
David P. Gasvoda, 57, Port Orchard, WA
John D. Hester, 70, Shelton, WA
Joseph C. Beck, 65, Olympia, WA
Malik N. Williams, 22, Federal Way, WA
Carlos A. Valdez, 19, Joint Base Lewis McCord (JBLM), WA
Arthur J. Pederson, 26, Puyallup, WA
Jason L. Bond, 51, Federal Way, WA
Andrew D. McKenzie, 27, Seattle, WA
Michael L. Wolfenberger24, Aberdeen, WA
Michael E. Moffitt, 22, Auburn, WA
Samir O. Payne, 24, Tacoma, WA
Timothy A. Cole, 29, Bremerton, WA
Reginaldo Morales Cardenas, 37, Auburn, WA
Junjie Gong, 24, Lakewood, WA
Steven D. Ferguson Jr., 19, Tacoma, WA
Sean M. Quigley, 34, Gresham, OR
John E. Perez, 29, Lakewood, WA
Mathew Fowler, 59, Puyallup, WA
Anwar M. Jeylani, 22, Seattle, WA
Patrick, A. Davis, Lynnwood, WA
Benjamin A. Stott, 24, Seattle, WA
This is the 13th “Net Nanny” operation in the state since 2015. Nearly two hundred people have been arrested throughout the state thanks to the WSP Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF). MECTF spearheads multi-agency operations that includes partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement.
This success of this operation was a collaborative effort involving the following agencies:
Washington State Patrol Missing and Exploited Children Task Force
U.S. Homeland Security Investigations
Federal Bureau of Investigations Seattle and Tacoma Field Offices
Naval Criminal Investigative Services
Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID)
Southeast Region Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State – ‘Intercept’ Unit
Bellingham Police Department
Bonney Lake Police Department
Centralia Police Department
Lakewood Police Department
Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office
US Marshall’s Service
Washington State Department of Corrections
Washington State Attorney General’s Office
Washington State Patrol High Tech Crime Unit
Washington State Patrol Criminal Investigation Division
Washington State Patrol Field Operation Bureau – District 1 and 2
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, firstname.lastname@example.org.