News Flash

Prosecuting Attorney

Posted on: October 3, 2017

Tacoma-Area Task Force Disrupts Gang Members Trafficking Minors for Sexual Exploitation

Multiple state, local, and federal agencies combined efforts in early October, to disrupt a criminal enterprise known to be trafficking minors for sexual exploitation out of Tacoma, Washington. Working through the South Sound Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) and the South Sound Gang Task Force (SSGTF), federal agents and law enforcement officers arrested five individuals on Monday, October 2, 2017, and two others in the days following.

The Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (PCPAO) charged Matthew Jeffrey Holt AKA “Boo,” 25, and six associates with conspiracy to commit human trafficking in the first degree, human trafficking in the first degree, human trafficking in the second degree, and promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor. All defendants are known to law enforcement as members of the Tillicum Park Gangsters street gang.

“Cracking down on human sex trafficking is one of our top priorities, especially when the victims are underage,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We appreciate the collaboration with the FBI and the Lakewood Police Department.”

In early August, 2016, a Lakewood police sergeant was listening to recorded jail calls that inmate Holt made while incarcerated in the Nisqually Jail. In some of the calls, Holt discussed with others what appeared to be coordination of ongoing prostitution activity. Because of what was heard, a copy of the calls was provided to the FBI-led South Sound CETF, who continued the investigation along with the SSGTF.

Holt is well known to law enforcement and is the self-proclaimed leader of the Tillicum Park Gangsters street gang. In one conversation Holt was heard saying, “I don’t treat them [women and girls] like nothing but the [expletive] on the bottom of my shoe.”

The investigation in this case uncovered crimes committed by the co-defendants including human trafficking, assault, rape, and/or promoting commercial exploitation of a minor. Fifteen victims have been identified thus far, including one just 13 years old. According to the charges, the victims were forced to engage in prostitution throughout the Tacoma and Lakewood areas, as well as in Olympia, Lacey, and Bellingham. The crimes were allegedly committed over a period of months that appear to begin in the summer of 2016 through September 2017.

“We will continue to work hard to combat Human Trafficking and arrest those who victimize some of our most vulnerable population,” said Lakewood Police Chief Mike Zaro.

Bail was set at $1,000,000.00.

Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email

Other News in Prosecuting Attorney

seal-transparent

Charges Amended to Murder

Posted on: July 13, 2018
seal-transparent

Man Charged with Double Murder

Posted on: June 27, 2018

A Safe Place to Learn

Posted on: April 20, 2018
seal-transparent

Man Charged with Murder and Assault

Posted on: March 13, 2018
seal-transparent

Teens Charged for Firing Gun in School

Posted on: February 27, 2018
seal-transparent

Two Charged, 20 Pounds of Meth Seized

Posted on: February 9, 2018
seal-transparent

Man Charged With Double Murder

Posted on: February 7, 2018
seal-transparent

Three Men Charged with Drive-by Shooting

Posted on: January 16, 2018
DawnMarkProBonoLeadership Award2017

Prosecutor’s Office Wins Two Awards

Posted on: January 10, 2018
adopt-a-family

Season of Giving Adopt-a-Family

Posted on: January 10, 2018

Prosecutor Lindquist to Sue Big Pharma

Posted on: December 20, 2017

Graham-Kapowsin Shooter Charged

Posted on: December 12, 2017

Woman re-charged with murder

Posted on: December 7, 2017

Never Too Cold

Posted on: November 9, 2017
seal-transparent

Man charged with murder of mother

Posted on: October 19, 2017

Man charged with multiple child sex crimes

Posted on: September 28, 2017

Man sentenced for killing homeless woman

Posted on: September 15, 2017

Homeless man murdered

Posted on: September 19, 2016