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ICE officer arrested in Othello child sex trafficking investigation

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | July 28, 2022 4:41 PM

OTHELLO — A 47-year-old Ellensburg man was arrested by Othello Police officers Tuesday in connection with an incident where he allegedly traveled to Othello to pay for sex with a 13-year-old girl.

In a press release issued Wednesday, OPD Chief Phil Schenck said Koby Don Williams was booked into the Adams County Jail on requested charges of second-degree attempted rape of a child, attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

“During this investigation, it was discovered that Williams was employed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a supervisory detention and deportation officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” Schenck wrote in the press release.

The arrest was part of the department’s ongoing “Human Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction” investigation.

Willaims was released from jail on his own recognizance, and Schenck said in a separate interview that wasn’t an uncommon practice.

“(Williams) went in front of the (Adams County Superior Court) judge and the judge found probable cause,” Schenck said. “Then the process is, they look to see if the person is a flight risk. My understanding, from my staff talking to the prosecutor, the only issue he’s had is a parking ticket. So for them to say he’s a flight risk would be difficult.”

Schenck said the fact Williams was released without being required to post bail also isn’t uncommon.

“That’s a judge decision. If the judge believes he’s going to come to trial when it’s time, then it’s not uncommon to see no bail. Bail is designed to ensure you come to court,” Schenck said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities are cooperating with the investigation.

“Homeland Security has been very cooperative,” Schenck said.

The Moses Lake Police Department, Toppenish Police Department and Washington Department of Corrections assisted with the investigation, Schenck wrote in the press release.

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