By Andrew Binion of the Kitsap Sun. Kevin Best, 42, who lives in south King County, was expecting to meet a woman and a year-old girl — both fictional — according to court documents.
Best was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree attempted rape of and commercial sexual abuse of a minor. When he was arrested, Best asked for an attorney but told investigators that "it was all a fantasy," according to court documents.
However, in conversations with the undercover investigators, Best agreed to proceed with caution, saying that he "liked to say everything is a fantasy until he knew the person was real," according to the documents. Central Kitsap spokeswoman Ileana LiMarzi, declining to identify Best's station, said he has been placed on administrative leave.
According to court documents, Best is alleged to have offered to give the woman and her children a tour of his fire station. Best started as a volunteer firefighter in Yakima County and worked as a firefighter for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for six years before being hired by Central Kitsap, according to a department biography of Best prepared inthe year he was hired.
The ruse employed by the State Patrol investigators is similar to one used in September that netted nine arrests in South Kitsap, as well as the one last month that resulted in the arrest of a Bremerton man. Detective Sgt. A post investigators made to the online classifieds site Craigslist generated responses in four days. Best was one of six people arrested as part of the sting, an ongoing project of the task force called "Operation Net Nanny. Although the of people who responded to that advertisement was in the hundreds, Rodriguez said investigators were focused on people who apparently were willing to meet and carry out the abuse as planned.
Rodriguez said investigators would now revise their premise as the ruse has been well-publicized, but it is apparently still effective. Follow us on Facebook.
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