Updated at 8 p.m. Monday to include information that two of those arrested are Edmonds School District employees.
A 60-year-old Edmonds man and a 36-year-old man from Mountlake Terrace were among eight arrested in an underage sex sting operation conducted by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit over the weekend.
Both men have been charged with third-degree attempted rape of a child.
Our online news partner The Seattle Times also reported that two of the remaining six men are employed with the Edmonds School District. One of them, from Bothell, is a teacher at Alderwood Middle School; the other, from Seattle, is a bus driver.
Both have been placed on paid administrative leave, Edmonds spokeswoman Debbie Joyce Jakala said Monday.
“Given the nature of this information, we are deeply concerned and cooperating fully with the Sheriff Office’s investigation, which is still under way,” Jakala said.
During Operation Anvil, a partnership with the U.S. Marshals Service, the sheriff’s office arrested the men, ranging in age from 26 to 60 years old, after they responded to online ads placed by undercover detectives posing as a 15-year-old female.
The 30-year-old Seattle bus driver sent photographs of himself driving a school bus and showed up to meet undercover detectives in Lynnwood still driving the bus. The 34-year-old Bothell man admitted to undercover detectives that he was a teacher.
“Protecting our county’s most vulnerable citizens — our children — will always remain our number one public safety priority. Getting these predators off our streets makes our communities safer,” said Sheriff Ty Trenary. “I’m especially thankful for the partnership and generous support we continue to receive from U.S. Marshals, making this type of operation possible.”
“The U.S. Marshals Service has a long history of partnering with local law enforcement agencies. Our relationship with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has directly resulted in multiple arrests of sexual predators. Operation Anvil is just another example of what partnering together can accomplish in keeping our communities safer,” said Chief Deputy, Jacob Green.
The operation began last Thursday night and ended with the last arrest at around 1 a.m. Sunday morning. The following suspects were arrested and booked:
· 36-year-old Mountlake Terrace man, booked for 3rd degree attempted rape of a child
· 26-year-old Marysville man, booked for 3rd degree attempted rape of a child
· 35-year-old Snohomish man, booked for 3rd degree attempted rape of a child and commercial sexual abuse of a minor
· 30-year-old Seattle man, booked for 3rd degree attempted rape of a child
· 51-year-old Everett man, booked for 3rd degree attempted rape of a child and commercial sexual abuse of a minor
· 60-year-old Edmonds man, booked for 3rd degree attempted rape of a child
· 27-year-old St. Louis (Missouri) man, booked for 3rd degree attempted rape of a child
· 34-year-old Bothell man, booked for 3rd degree attempted rape of a child and communication with a minor for immoral purposes
Detectives continue to process evidence collected in the sting operation, including cell phones and vehicles.