A multi-agency operation resulted in 22 arrests of "dangerous sexual predators," according to the Washington State Patrol.
The sting, dubbed 'Operation Net Nanny,' pursued individuals targeting children in Thurston County over the internet.
Most of the 22 arrests were men in the South Sound, with three of them stationed at Joint-Base Lewis McChord.
The crimes include attempted first-degree rape of a child, commercial sex abuse of a minor, and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
The operation took place over several days, led by the Washington State Patrol and partner agencies. Undercover officers used various websites and apps to communicate with people interested in sexually abusing children.
The undercover sting generated hundreds of responses, according to WSP. The suspects were arrested over a 5-day period after attempting to meet minors and engage in sexual activity with children as young as six.
WSP Chief John Batiste said, "While the internet is a powerful tool for our nation, criminals using it to target our communities’ necessitates a need for this type of proactive investigations by our law enforcement troopers and partners in order to combat these horrible crimes."
This is the 15th 'Net Nanny' operation led by WSP's Missing and Exploited Children Task Force. Since 2015, the stings have resulted in 246 arrests and rescued more than 30 children across Washington state.
"This operation is aimed at protecting our vulnerable children and making communities safer," said Batiste.