MILL CREEK -- The quiet Snohomish County town of Mill Creek was the unlikely location for an undercover prostitution sting operation that resulted in six arrests on Friday.
Five women were arrested on suspicion of soliciting prostitution and one man also was arrested on suspicion of promoting prostitution, police said. One woman also was busted for possession of marijuana.
Mill Creek police spokeswoman Sgt. Kate Hamilton said she is not surprised to find prostitution happening in the quiet, mostly upscale town of gated communities.
"It goes on everywhere. I think it's one of those adult activities that can happen anywhere," she said. "No, I am not surprised. I think it's something that maybe the citizens aren't aware of - but it's just something that's going on, probably, like an underbelly - it happens everywhere."
During the sting, police officers responded to advertisements posted in the "adult service" category on the Craigslist web site, and arranged for a meeting at an apartment in Mill Creek.
Undercover officers posed as "Johns" at the apartment and greeted the unsuspecting women when they arrived.
After the women offered the officers sexual services in exchange for cash, other officers entered the apartment and arrested the suspects.
All of the women were interviewed to determine their level of involvement in prostitution and investigated for the possibility of underage exploitation. All were adults over 18 and were booked in to the Snohomish County Jail.
"The ladies were told this is not a safe thing to do, and requested not to return to Mill Creek again," Hamilton said.
The sting was part of a special operations plan dubbed "Operation Dial-up," created after a regional sting uncovered underage girls being exploited for prostitution.