The Washington State Patrol (WSP) says that they arrested nine people during “Operation Human Freight” this week.
On September 18, WSP and the Federal Way Police Department set up an undercover operation at the I-5 rest area in Federal Way. The location was chosen because of numerous complaints from travelers about criminal activity in the area.
According to a news release from WSP, within four hours, nine women had approached undercover officers to offer sex services. All nine women were arrested and given the opportunity to connect to an welfare advocate.
“The Washington State Patrol and many stakeholders recognize the crime issues that exist at the Federal Way rest area and are working tirelessly to discourage the criminal behavior. This was one example of a collaborative approach to policing and the mutual sharing of assets and ideas to make an impact on our communities,” said WSP District 2 Commander, Captain Ron Mead.
WSP says that the goal of “Operation Human Freight” was to identify and rescue women and girls caught up in human trafficking and prostitution. The operation was conducted with assistance from the F.B.I. and Truckers Against Trafficking.
This is the third operation of its kind to be conducted in the state of Washington this year. In late February, 11 people were arrested at a truck stop along I-5 in northern Pierce County as part of “Operation Human Freight.” And in April, 10 people were arrested during an “Operation Human Freight” prostitution sting at a truck stop location off of I-5 near the Centralia and Chehalis area.