Guest Submission: True Fictional Story, Washington State Patrol Net Nanny


By Linda Jordan

Editor’s note: From the author: “This is fictional but is based 100% in fact. ALL of it is from court documents I’ve read and personal stories I’ve heard from individuals.”


You’re a Washington State Patrol officer with Operation Net Nanny. It’s an undercover money-making scheme masquerading as an Internet Crimes Against Children task force and you’re on your way to arrest an innocent man.

As the van parks behind a house, you and your team agree on takeout afterward. You high-five each other and grab your gear. Everyone is amped, armed, and wearing a flack vest. You almost feel bad for the shock and awe you have planned for the lonely nineteen-year-old you talked into driving to meet you.

You snagged him in a sting operation through an adults-only dating website. You know damned well no one there is looking for kids but it’s a good place to find someone and make it look like they are.

You post provocative and ambiguous ads that suggest role play is involved then gain the trust of whoever bites. You send them a photo of a grown female police officer and talk like an adult would. Eventually you tell them you’re a minor. The point is to confuse them just enough to keep them on the hook.

If a target breaks off contact, you sometimes bet the guys a pizza you can get them back. It’s illegal but you have a retirement to pad.

The socially awkward, inexperienced, and developmentally disabled are the most likely to fall for your con. Some of them are barely over eighteen. Ironically, you’re engaging in a form of abuse, according to state law.

You convince them to meet you, telling them what to bring so they’ll have the evidence on them you’ll need to put them away. By arresting them before they have a chance to see who they’re meeting, you deny them a chance to prove what they were really expecting.

Playing dirty at every turn, you lose evidence and falsify police reports to create an appearance of guilt. Entrapment is difficult to prove and most of your marks plead guilty rather than risk public humiliation or decades in prison. That’s where you get your high conviction rates – which make for great headlines.

You feed the public fantastic stories about your heroism, knowing your operations are breathtakingly hypocritical. You drum up hysteria in defamatory, life-ruining press releases – naming the people you arrested prior to legal proceedings.

The sensationalism brings in donations and you’re allowed to accept money from private organizations in exchange for gifts and favors. You schedule operations on weekends and holidays because the overtime boosts your paychecks and retirement. The feds discourage decoy operations yet they pay you to create crimes with imaginary victims.

Your supervisors did the math and figured out how to maximize the payout per arrest and the money is rolling in. The department evades scrutiny by claiming a need for confidentiality – except when it comes to the defendant’s right to privacy and a fair trial. They face extraordinarily long sentences and will suffer lifelong social and economic hardship.

After prison, the ones with families will have a difficult time supporting them and they will receive a free membership on the sex offender registry. It’s a gift to the whole family – compliments of the Washington State Patrol Retirement Fund Booster.

Someone’s gotta pay for the takeout you think to yourself as you crawl out of the van and take your position in the house. Your stomach grumbles.

You hear a car pull up. A door opens, you get the signal, and you move.

Gun drawn, you watch your team take your son into custody.


About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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