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May 11, 2021

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At least 19 men arrested in child sex sting in Whatcom County

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At least 19 men in Whatcom and Skagit counties were caught in a sting operation this month that targeted internet predators attempting to solicit sexual contact with minors, Washington State Patrol said.

As of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, 19 men had been arrested in operation “Net Nanny,” which is put on by the Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force. More arrests were expected to happen late Sunday night, the State Patrol said.

This is the 10th sting the State Patrol has conducted. A similar operation in the Tri-Cities last summer resulted in 26 arrests.

“The internet has become a hunting ground for sexual predators that are targeting our vulnerable children,” WSP Chief John R. Batiste said after a Net Nanny operation last month in Kitsap County. “This multiagency operation is taking dangerous individuals off the streets and making communities safer for families.”

Most of the men were arrested on suspicion of attempted child rape and attempted communication with a minor for immoral purposes. Many of them had little to no criminal history.

A Whatcom County Superior Court commissioner found probable cause Friday to charge the first seven men arrested; the rest are expected to appear in court Monday afternoon. Formal criminal charges for all the men must be filed by the middle of the week.

Most of the men will have their arraignments at 9 a.m. on Dec. 22. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Erik Sigmar asked for bail to be set at $50,000 for most of the men.

The sting

Late last week, undercover agents posted Craigslist ads online advertising for meet ups of a sexual nature, according to Whatcom County Superior Court records. Once the men responded, the agents would either pose as young teenage children, or as parents offering up their young children for sexual contact – some as young as 6 years old.

Many of the men used graphic descriptions of sex acts they wanted to perform with the children, or what they wanted the children to do to them, court records show. Many also sent nude photos of themselves.

Probable cause statements for all of those arrested by Friday detailed graphic sexual conversations between the men and undercover agents.

Once the conversations progressed far enough, the agent would give the men a location to drive to, and then a separate address. Once the men entered the house, they were arrested, court records show.

First 10 arrested

The first 10 men arrested are as follows:

Jaime Roberto Anderson: The court found probable cause Friday to charge Anderson, 33, of Bellingham, with two counts of second-degree attempted rape of a child and one count of attempt to communicate with a minor for immoral purposes. The court set bail at $20,000.

Anderson responded to an ad where an undercover agent posed as a 13-year-old girl, with another friend of a similar age. Anderson allegedly asked multiple times whether the girl and her friend were escorts. He also asked whether the girl was affiliated with law enforcement and trying to trap him, but the undercover agent responded that they weren’t a cop and were just looking for a hookup, according to court records.

Marc Vincent Archer: The court found probable cause Friday to charge Archer, 60, of Bellingham, with attempted second-degree rape of a child and attempted communication with a minor for immoral purposes. Bail was set at $20,000.

Archer responded to an ad where an agent posed as a 13-year-old male. Multiple text and email conversations ensued.

Chadwin Alexander Hagens: The court found probable cause Friday to charge Chadwin Hagens, 24, of Bellingham with attempted first-degree rape of a child, attempted second-degree rape of a child and attempted communication with a minor for immoral purposes. The court set bail at $20,000.

Hagens responded to an ad where an undercover agent posed as a mother of two children, ages 6 and 11, and was looking for people who wanted to engage in sexual activity with the children, court records show.

The agent also told Hagens the children liked Slurpees and lollipops, both of which were found on Hagens when he was arrested, court records state.

Steven William Johnson: The court found probable cause Friday to charge Johnson, 45, of Bellingham with attempted second-degree rape of a child and attempted communication with a minor for immoral purposes. The court set bail at $40,000.

Johnson responded to an ad where the agent posed as a mother with two children, ages 6 and 11, and was looking for people who wanted to engage in sexual activity with the children. Johnson also responded to a second ad posted on Craigslist where the agent was posing as a 13-year-old female.

Aaron Lee Kinley: The court found probable cause Friday to charge Kinley, 26, of Bellingham with attempted second-degree rape of a child and attempted communication with a minor for immoral purposes. Bail was set at $10,000.

Kinley responded to an ad where an undercover agent posed as a 13-year-old female, court records show.

Dillon Russell Lawson: The court found probable cause Friday to charge Lawson, 20, of Mount Vernon with attempted first-degree rape of a child, attempted second-degree rape of a child and attempted communication with a minor for immoral purposes. Bail was set at $10,000.

Lawson responded to an ad with an undercover agent posing as a mother with two children, ages 11 and 13, court records state. Lawson allegedly showed up to the predetermined location to meet the girls with two $25 Macy’s gift cards and was wearing a Santa hat, court records show.

James Danny Ortiz Jr.: The court found probable cause Friday to charge Ortiz, 24, of Everson with attempted second-degree rape of a child and attempted communication with a minor for immoral purposes. The court set bail at $10,000.

Ortiz responded to one ad posted on Craigslist, but then once the agent responded, Ortiz did not. Ortiz then responded to a second ad, and stopped communicating as soon as the agent responded. Ortiz then responded to a third ad, in which a conversation of a sexual nature ensued, court records state.

The agent was posing as a 13-year-old female, and Ortiz allegedly responded with, “You don’t look 13, but maybe it’s the ears and nose,” court records state. Ortiz took a bus to get to the predetermined address and was arrested.

Gilberto Chino Acatitlan: Gilberto Chino Acatitlan, 28, was arrested Friday night on suspicion of second-degree child rape, communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and prostituting/patronizing a minor. No immediate information was available Sunday about Acatitlan’s arrest.

Jason Justin Lundberg: Jason Justin Lundberg, 43, was arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of second-degree child rape, communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, prostituting/patronizing a minor, manufacturing/delivering methamphetamine, delivering a scheduled substance to a minor and a controlled substance transfer involving a minor. No immediate information was available Sunday about Lundberg’s arrest.

Matthew Allen Severson: Matthew Allen Severson, 51, was arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of first-degree child rape. No immediate information was available Sunday about Severson’s arrest.

Details on the other nine men arrested were not immediately available Sunday.

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