This week, three Innocence Lost Task Forces (ILTFs) in Washington state recovered juveniles and young adults being victimized through prostitution. Some of the adult victims had been forced into engaging in prostitution since they were juveniles. The local operations were part of Operation Cross Country VI, a three-day national enforcement action that is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative. Details on the national actions are in the attached FBI Headquarters press release.
In Washington state, the ILTFs recovered six juveniles and arrested seven subjects suspected of promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor. Operations took place June 21-23, 2012, in Auburn, Bellevue, Lakewood, Seattle, Tacoma, and throughout King County. Victims and the pimps travel throughout western Washington to work and do not necessarily reside in the area where they were located this week.
The ILTF, working together with partnering agencies, made contact with young women involved in prostitution through the use of undercover agents and detectives and by canvassing areas where street prostitution is known to occur.
All the women and girls were offered to be connected with a variety of services within the community, such as job training, housing, counseling, and medical and education assistance.
The FBI Seattle Division works with law enforcement partners on three dedicated Innocence Lost Task Forces, based in Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma.
■The Seattle ILTF is a partnership between the FBI; the King County Sheriff’s Office; the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) directorate; and the Seattle, Kent, SeaTac, Port of Seattle, and Bellevue police departments.
■The Everett ILTF is a partnership between the FBI; the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office; and the Everett, Lynnwood, and Mt. Vernon police departments.
■The Tacoma-based Pacific Northwest ILTF is a partnership between the FBI, the Tacoma and Lakewood Police Departments, the Internal Revenue Service, and ICE-HSI.
Additional partners supplemented the work of Washington ILTF members in Operation Cross Country VI. They were personnel from the Bureau of Prisons and the Auburn, Bellingham, and Ferndale Police Departments.
ILTFs provide a rapid and effective investigative response to reported federal crimes involving the victimization of children. The task force strives to reduce the vulnerability of children to acts of sexual exploitation and abuse and strengthens the capabilities of federal, state, and local law enforcement through training programs and investigative assistance. Below are summaries of recent cases investigated by the Washington ILTFs:
■Ronnie Tramble coerced or forced more than five different women to work for him as prostitutes. Some of these victims were under the age of 18. Tramble first came to the attention of Kent Police Department officers when a juvenile female told them that Tramble beat and coerced her and advertised her as a prostitute on Backpage.com. On March 16, 2012, Tramble was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 15 years in prison and 15 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the five women he forced to work as prostitutes.
■D’Marco Mobley used beatings and sexual violence to force a teenager and two young women into prostitution. His violence included locking one of the women in the trunk of a car for 28 hours and subjecting her to multiple rapes during that period. On April 27, 2012, Mobley was sentenced in King County Superior Court to 37 years in prison.
■The conviction of DeShawn Cashmoney Clark marked the first under Washington state’s Human Trafficking Statute. Clark was a member of the Westside Street Mobb, a violent street gang that recruited and forced teenage girls and young women into prostitution for the gang’s financial profit. On January 22, 2010, DeShawn Clark was sentenced in King County Superior Court to 17 years in prison.