File photo

Federal Way man, 25, arrested for trafficking two Oregon girls, 15 and 11

Bellevue Police arrest man for investigation of trafficking and other charges; met the girls online

A Federal Way man appeared in front of a judge on Feb. 7 after being arrested by Bellevue Police Department detectives along with the human trafficking unit for allegedly sex trafficking two underage Oregon girls.

Ezra Wimana, 25, is being held in King County jail and faces two counts of trafficking in the second degree, two counts of promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, and one count of third-degree rape of a child, according to Bellevue police.

The investigation began weeks before the arrest when an Eastern Oregon police department reached out to the Bellevue Police Department asking for assistance in finding an 11-year-old and 15-year-old, who were suspected victims of human trafficking.

The investigation uncovered that the two minors had connected with Wimana through Instagram and Snapchat. These apps are where the minors “fell prey to the trafficking scheme,” according to the Bellevue police.

Wimana allegedly transported the minors from Oregon to Washington and subjected them to various exploitative measures, including substances and sexual acts.

The Bellevue police reported the suspect, “dissatisfied with their performance,” later abandoned the two minors on the side of the road.

The minors have been reunited with their parents, and Wimana remains in custody with bail set at $500,000.

The Bellevue Police Department offered tips for parents to prevent similar incidents from occurring:

• Teach children about online safety and the dangers of interacting with strangers on social media platforms.

• Regularly monitor your children’s online interactions, including social media accounts and messaging apps, and be vigilant for any suspicious behavior or contacts.

• Foster open communication with your children, encouraging them to share any concerns or uncomfortable experiences they encounter online.

• Establish clear guidelines for online interactions and educate children about the importance of safeguarding their personal information.

• Stay informed about the latest tactics used by human traffickers to lure victims online and educate children about the warning signs of grooming and exploitation. More information can be found on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force website.

The Kirkland Police Department told the Kirkland Reporter red flags that can indicate someone might be a victim of sex trafficking:

• A person seems overly fearful, submissive, tense or paranoid.

• A person is deferring to another person before giving information.

• Person has physical injuries or brandings such as name tattoos on face or chest, tattoos about money and sex or pimp phrases.

• Clothing is inappropriately sexual or inappropriate for the weather.

• Minor is unaccompanied at night or falters in explaining who they are with and what they are doing.

• Identification documents are held by another.

• Person works long or excessive hours or is always available “on demand.”

• Overly sexual for age or situation.

• Multiple phones or social media accounts.

• Signs of unusual wealth without explanation — new jewelry, shoes and phones without any known form of income.

• A person lives in a “massage” business or is not free to come and go.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

t
Two people shot, injured at Renton encampment

Investigators arrest a 31-year-old man in Feb. 27 shooting

t
KC prosecutor’s office supports catalytic converter theft legislation

ESHB 2153 would make catalytic converters traceable and harder to sell illegally.

t
Auburn Police arrest man in Valentine’s Day shooting

Boyfriend of woman shot faces murder charge

King County elections drop box. (File photo)
Auburn School District levy is passing by thin margin

These were the results as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21.

File photo
Man, 68, fatally shot in Federal Way on Feb. 13

Killed in 32900 block of Hoyt Road

t
White supremacists accused of double homicide, dumping bodies in Maple Valley

A horse and dog are also dead in this murder investigation.

Washington Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program advocacy group at the State Capitol for HB 1916. (Photo Courtesy of Kindering)
‘When services decline, it’s the kids who pay the price’

Legislative bill would recover funding for the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program - and could save the state millions.

Maddy Lindsay won the Miss Auburn crown last weekend. Photo courtesy City of Auburn.
Miss Auburn and Miss Auburn’s Teen 2024 winners crowned

There were 10 Miss Auburn and 11 Miss Auburn Teen contestants

File photo
Renton’s minimum wage measure is passing in early vote counts

Initiative Measure No. 23-02 would make Renton’s minimum wage one of the highest in the nation.

File photo
Police arrest Federal Way teens in multi-city crime spree

Girls ages 13, 14 and 16 allegedly involved in vehicle theft, malicious mischief and vehicle prowl

King County Crime Dive podcast.
The end of traditional youth jail | KC Crime Dive podcast

In this episode, we look at how King County is moving toward ending traditional youth detention in favor of a new facility for minors or even group homes.

Photo by Keelin Everly-Lang/Sound Publishing
Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center.
King County moves toward ending traditional youth detention

Committee members expressed concerns regarding youth leaving the center and causing additional harm. The committee also expressed concerns about youth being at risk of retaliation from community members.