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Ride along shows elite task force taking down one of state’s biggest accused child porn perps

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PARELLA

PARELLAROY — Their cases are time consuming and horrible to see.

The Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force is the only task force of its kind. Sergeant Carlos Rodriguez explains, “We deal with a lot of depictions, and those would be videos, photographs of children in really compromising positions, things that they don’t-wouldn’t want to do.”

Their mission is to hold the abuser’s accountable.

“We identify people who produce this kind of activity, who trade in that type of activity, who view it and we concentrate on going after them,” adds Rodriguez.

Only Washington’s Most Wanted was with them this week in Roy when they served a search warrant, going after Owen Gerdes. They believe the 29-year old is one of the state’s biggest downloader’s of child porn at this time.

Rodriguez explains, “The warrant was for all digital media, which lncludes computers, phones, usb drives, any type of digital media.” On his computer, detectives found several hundred explicit images involving minors.

This agency investigates thousands of predators like Gerdes throughout the state every year. But there are only three full time detectives. Only three officers battling a flood of child porn.

“Quite frankly we’re overwhelmed with how much work that there is.so what we do is we triage what we do, we prioritize it. And I know that’s difficult to say with these types of cases. We try to concentrate in the worst of the worst, and work the best with what resources we have,” said Rodriguez.

The Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force is the only agency of its kind in the state set up to accept public funds. The more money they have, the more officers they can hire and get more bad guys off the streets. If you would like to donate, just go to www.wsp.wa.gov and look in the right hand column under “Hot Topics.” Just  follow the links. It’s a way that we can all do our part in keeping dangerous men like Gerdes away from our kids.