Prineville man among 20 arrested in human trafficking and sex abuse sting
A Prineville man was one of more than two dozen people arrested in connection with a human trafficking sting conducted by Bend police over the course of several months.
Ian McCord, a 38-year-old Prineville resident, was one of 20 people arrested for multiple human trafficking and sex-related crimes. He faces charges of first-degree online sexual corruption of a child, luring a minor for sexual conduct, third-degree attempted sodomy and third-degree attempted rape.
According to a Bend police report released last Thursday, the department conducted a project between May 19 and Aug. 23 dedicated to combating human trafficking, sex work and luring of minors, with an emphasis on identifying and arresting people who are attempting to meet underage children for sex.
Bend police officers posted ads online, then posed as minors in both text and phone conversations. Over the course of the project, people at more than 200 distinct phone numbers answered officers' ads. Many of those people, upon learning they were apparently communicating with a minor, immediately cut off communication. However, of the 200-plus people who answered Bend police's online ads and learned of a minor child being trafficked for sex, not one subsequently shared that information with law enforcement.
According to the report, police clearly identified themselves as underage. Those arrested then agreed to meet, sometimes bringing drugs and alcohol to the agreed-upon location. Upon arrival, they were taken into custody and lodged at the Deschutes County Jail.
The majority of the other people arrested are Bend and Redmond residents, however one is a Madras resident, another is from La Pine, one is from Sisters, and one is a California resident.
In addition to the 20 trafficking and sex abuse arrests, another eight people, most of whom are Bend residents, were arrested for attempting to patronize adult sex workers. Patronizing a prostitute is a Class A misdemeanor and those who were arrested were cited and released.
Authorities report that during the course of the project, multiple people came forward and identified themselves as victims of sexual abuse at the hands of these suspects. Bend police are asking the public to contact non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 if they or someone they know is the victim of any of these suspects.
"Bend police want our community to know we are proactively investigating these crimes," the department stated in its news release. "We will continue to conduct projects like this in the future. This outreach will also let potential predators know our community is vigilant. Our goal is to identify traffickers and prevent this activity from taking place in our community. During the operation, Bend police saw a significant decrease for demand in sex work in our community, and by extension, a decrease in sex workers operating in our community."
Bend police went on to remind parents, guardians and caregivers to stay involved in their children's digital world, to know the apps they are using and to implement parental controls when possible.
"Children should talk with a trusted adult, so they understand online risks, only chat with people they know and make sure their online accounts are private. There are people who target vulnerable youth via online apps and other internet sources, and we have to work together to keep our children safe."
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