The Washington State Patrol’s (WSP) Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF), arrested 20 males and one female, including one man from Mercer Island, during a multi-day operation that targeted individuals who wanted to sexually exploit children, according to a WSP press release.
As a result of the operation, detectives were able to rescue four children who were at risk of being abused.
Bryan Glant, 20, of Mercer Island was charged with two counts of first-degree attempted rape of a child. Bail was set at $50,000.
He has no prior criminal history, according to prosecutors. He was arrested Sept. 11 upon arriving to meet two children under age 12 for sex. Detectives found a bottle of lubricant on Glant.
“It’s vital we take these child predators off the streets and keep our children safe,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement. “Through collaboration with our partners, we are making the internet safer for kids and are also able to protect the most vulnerable community members from abuse.”
Law enforcement officers acting in an undercover capacity communicated on the internet through various websites with individuals interested in the sexual exploitation of children. The operation generated hundreds of responses.
The would-be perpetrators arrested agreed to travel to meet with undercover detectives posing as young girls and boys to engage in sexual activity with them.
“The significant investigative, surveillance and computer forensics support from our Homeland Security Investigations special agents proves that we leave no stone unturned when it comes to removing these predators from our communities,” stated Steve Cagen, acting special agent in charge of HSI Seattle. “The staggering number of arrests achieved through interagency cooperation are a testament to our combined passion to prevent future harm to innocent children.”