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12 men arrested in online child sex sting operation

TACOMA, Wash. -- Authorities have arrested and charged 12 men in connection with an online child sex sting operation south of Seattle.

The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office says the men were charged Monday with crimes including attempted child rape, communication with a minor for immoral purposes and commercial sexual abuse of a minor.

The Washington State Patrol's Missing and Exploited Children's Task Force arrested the men during the operation in which undercover law enforcement officers communicated on the internet with individuals interested in having sex with children.

Prosecutors say the operation generated hundreds of responses. Those arrested allegedly traveled to meet with undercover detectives posing as young girls and boys to engage in sexual activity with them.

This is the seventh operation in the state since 2015, which has netted 84 arrests around the state.