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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sex trafficking investigation nets 14 arrests and pulls 72 people out of prostitution across Washington state

Logo of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice of the United States of America pictured at the embassy of the USA in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Aug. 10, 2007. (MICHAEL SOHN / ASSOCIATED PRESS)
From staff reports

Federal agents and local police have arrested 14 people across Washington suspected of forcing 72 people into prostitution, including five children.

The sweep took place Oct. 13-15 in more than a dozen cities across the state.

There was one arrest and 13 women recovered in Airway Heights, and in Spokane there was one arrest and three women recovered, according to FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich-Williams.

The FBI and local agencies involved declined Monday night to disclose where arrests and prostitution contacts happened.

“Victims and the pimps travel throughout eastern and western Washington to work and do not necessarily reside in the area where they were located this week,” the FBI wrote about the results of what they called Operation Cross Country X.

The agencies involved used undercover agents to contact the women involved and canvassed areas where street prostitution occurs.

The operation is part of a wider FBI initiative that has spanned the United States and other countries including Cambodia, Canada, the Philippines and Thailand.