CHEHALIS, Wash.—Twelve people were arrested this weekend as part of a multi-agency investigation of the sexual abuse and exploitation of children touted as “Operation Net Nanny.”
Michael A. Gillette, 31, and Tyler D. Clark, 23, both of Chehalis, Justin Hinchliffe, 43, of Olympia, Gerry G. Greatreaks, 50, Vancouver, Zachary Case, 21, Belfair, Adis Lao Cirlo-Hernandez, 23, Centralia, Leonardo Tranquilino, 31, Centralia, Wayne A. Rigby,72, Shelton, Douglas R. Clark, 45, Rochester, Robert E. Morrison, 65, Kelso, Antonio T. Nolasco, 36, Shelton, and Mario A. Fernandez, 33, of Napavine, were arrested as part of the investigation. They were taken into custody in Lewis County.
The investigation was conducted by the Washington State Patrol (WSP), local Lewis County law enforcement agencies and several partner agencies. It is the 20th operation spearheaded by the WSP’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF), an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) affiliate. Since the first operation in August 2015, MECTF has made 312 arrests and removed more than 31 children from danger across the state through police intervention.
The cases will be reviewed by the Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for charges against the 12 people arrested. They are facing possible charges of rape of a child, a first-degree felony, attempted rape of a child, a second-degree felony, communication of a minor for immoral purposes and sexual exploitation of a minor.
“It is unfortunate that there are some that are actively preying on children. However, it is reassuring to know that so many agencies are willing to respond to help hold those people accountable,” said Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer. “We are thankful for the federal and state agencies that conducted this operation and the support of multiple local agencies. Coordination of law enforcement partners is vital to help ensure the safety of the people of Lewis County.”
The primary mission of Operation Net Nanny is to target anyone involved in child abuse and child exploitation via the Internet.
“We were proud to participate with the WSP MECTF and the other public safety partners in this very important operation focused on keeping children safe from those who prey on them in our communities,” said Lewis County Sheriff Robert Snaza. “Dedicated partnerships are what make operations such as these a success!”