Everett, WA

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Everett is located 25 miles north of Seattle, and has a population of 100,000.  Prostitution activity, at times involving minors, has been reported locally for several years. For example, in October, 2018, an FBI Seattle Division Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF), along with additional local partners, conducted an operation in the Everett area to recover juvenile victims of sex trafficking and identify subjects suspected of commercially exploiting children and/or adults, and other related crimes. The CETF identified 11 adult females and two juvenile females being exploited through prostitution. At least one case of targeted sexual assault on a prostituted woman has also been documented.

The Everett Police Department and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office have worked together to execute reverse sting operations in the community since at least 1988.  Area police were also the first to conduct web-based reverse sting operations, starting in 1995.  Everett uses geographic probation for those arrested on prostitution charges.  This means that prostitution “customers” can be ordered to stay away from well-known marketplaces for drugs and prostitution, and if found there, can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor.  Everett began using this tactic in 1993.

In 2007, the Everett City Council was working towards getting the names and photos of the arrested Johns to air on the local TV station, but due to many legal complications, this ordinance was never passed.  For about 10 years (1999 to 2008), the Snohomish Department of Public Health operated a john school that was used for men arrested for soliciting in Everett and other areas within the county, but the program was discontinued. As of 2014, police report that there is no john school or vehicle seizure options being used for sex buyers.

In fall 2015, Bonneville Seattle reported that Snohomish County law enforcement, in partnership with the FBI, had completed an unusual web sting. Undercover officers responded to internet listings from individuals offering commercial sex, and arranged to meet the women that responded at an Everett hotel. The operation aimed to identify and recover women and girls forced into prostitution (i.e., sex trafficking victims). Although the sting did not identify any suspected victims, law enforcement did not arrest the adult sex sellers intercepted during the investigation. Instead, officers chose to interview the women to gather information from them about local prostitution markets and offer them referrals to social services.

In 2017, web-based reverse sting was conducted. Eight men, ranging in age from 26 to 60 years old, were arrested after being accused of arranging to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex in response to an online ad.  A middle school teacher who was arrested pleaded guilty to communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. A bus driver for the school district was arrested during the same undercover operation, and also pleading guilty in the case. The identities of the arrestees were publicly disclosed.


Key Partners

  • Everett Police Department
  • Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
  • North Everett Citizens Against Prostitution

Key Sources

State Washington
Type City
Population 98295
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