Washington State Police arrested nearly a dozen people in an overnight human trafficking sting at an undisclosed truck stop location in Pierce County last week.
The four hour undercover bust, dubbed “Operation Human Freight”, took place late Wednesday, February 28, in northern Pierce County along the I-5 corridor.
After receiving numerous complaints about prostitution at the truck stop location, police set up a base and looked to identify both victims and suspects. After less than four hours, eleven people were arrested on charges ranging from promoting prostitution, DUI, suspicion of loitering, possession with intent to sell, soliciting prostitution, and felony escape DOC warrant.
The operation came to a close after less than four hours because police said that prostitution was so rampant at the truck stop that they simply ran out of manpower. WSP Lieutenant. James Mjor told KOMO News, “Even with the resources we had and the motivation, we were just overwhelmed, inundated.”
Ten women who were either prostitutes or human trafficking victims were given a meal, water, and access to services during the operation.
Multiple agencies took part in Operation Human Freight, including the Lakewood Police Department, the Fife Police Department, the Seattle Police Department, the West Sound Narcotics Task Force, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Washington State Police say that they will not release the exact location of the truck stop where the sting took place because they intend to return and make more arrests. Similar sting operations are planned throughout the state.