EVERETT — A child-predator sting led to seven arrests in Snohomish County over the past four days.
In the “Net Nanny” operation led by the Washington State Patrol, men around Puget Sound responded to an undercover detective posing as a 13-year-old girl on a “popular internet dating and social media website,” according to statements of probable cause.
“Young. F. HMU,” the fictional profile stated. (On the internet, F means “female.” HMU is “Hit me up.”)
A picture showed a bedroom with pink curtains and stuffed animals. In separate conversations, the men were undeterred when the “girl” revealed she was well below the legal age for sexual consent. They tried to meet with her at an unspecified location in the Everett area, court papers say.
“I’m 13 but mature,” the girl replied to one of the men, who was from Bellingham and told her he was in his late 30s.
In chats, the man used the screen name “Little_Windows,” according to court papers.
“Oh god it would be so very naughty if we ever met,” he wrote. He asked for a picture of the girl.
“Little_Windows” typed out extremely graphic descriptions of what he wanted to do to her. The drive from the man’s Bellingham home to Everett takes about an hour. He arrived with condoms around 10 p.m. Saturday, according to the State Patrol.
Troopers converged, and he was booked into the Snohomish County Jail.
Others made their sexual intentions clear in chat logs, too, and showed up at the home in the hours and days that followed, according to court papers. The seventh suspect was booked into jail early Tuesday, when the operation ended.
More than 70 law enforcement officers, agents and support staff helped make the arrests. Statewide, it’s the 18th time the State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force has organized this kind of sting.
All seven men were arrested for investigation of attempted second-degree child rape and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. Court records suggest none of them has past convictions for sex offenses in Washington.
The suspects ranged in age from 20s to 50s. They are: Michael Adam Barbee, 21, of Everett; Nicholas Phillip Jerman, 25, of Bellingham; Eric Orth, 38, of Bellingham; Kevin Pickett, 34, of Arlington; Richard E. Rettig, 56, of Monroe; Anthony J. Scott, 23, of Everett; and Colin M. Wood, 31, of Seattle.
Pickett and Wood have posted $15,000 bond. The men are awaiting felony charges in Superior Court.
The Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office will determine what charges to file.
Troopers asked that anyone with relevant information about the suspects, or potential victims, to contact the task force at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call 911.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; email@example.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.