The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.
Man found guilty in Seattle undercover pimp sting
Posted by John de Leon
-- From Times staff reporter Sara Jean Green:
A King County Superior Court jury on Friday found Jerry Lewis Smith, 47, guilty of attempting to pimp out an undercover Seattle police officer who he believed was a 17-year-old girl.
Smith was one of 30 men arrested last June as part of a Seattle police investigation called "Operation Fast Track" and was charged with attempted promoting the commercial sex abuse of a minor. He was arrested when he arrived at a gas station with the intent of picking up the girl and taking her to Las Vegas, Nev.
"There's not a 17-year-old actually on the streets in danger. It's not somebody's daughter who can be victimized, but an undercover Seattle police officer," said Sean O'Donnell, the senior King County deputy prosecutor who tried the case against Smith. Using so-called decoy officers is a "tremendous tool" for police to use "without putting a real child in danger," O'Donnell said.
Smith faces a sentence of roughly 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 years in prison.
The jury that convicted Smith began deliberations on Wednesday -- the same day Seattle police were notified that Smith's co-defendant, Anthony Dwain Woods Sr., 51, had been arrested in Ohio, according to Sgt. Ryan Long of the department's Vice and High Risk Victims Unit. Woods, who was arrested on a $250,000 warrant, is expected to be extradited back to Washington.