Video: Surveilling bikini baristas
posted at 6:00 pm on July 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
The Great Bikini Barista Crime Ring certainly has the State of Washington worried … and Reason TV amused. It gets prominent mention in this month’s episode of “Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?” This time, though, the FBI is on the case:
Good law enforcement agencies know to take their time when staking out bikini barista establishments suspected of operating prostitution rings. It’s important to pose as customers to witness lewd acts first hand and it’s absolutely crucial to spend many months pouring over surveillance footage. In fact, you might want to call upon federal agents to provide some extra surveillance footage.
In Snohomish County, Washington a very thorough bikini barista investigation has spanned approximately nine months, involved at least two local police departments (Everett and Kent) as well as the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI, and yielded multiple arrests for prostitution and related offenses. Among those caught in the sting operation was Sheriff’s Sgt. Darrell O’Neill, who would allegedly warn bikini baristas about undercover officers in exchange for sex (yes, even while in uniform).
In this case, bikini baristas weren’t really the core of the problem. Prostitution is illegal and most communities want it prosecuted, but probably not at the expense of losing focus on violent criminals … or chasing legitimate bikini baristas (assuming some of them are legitimate, of course) out of work. Maybe the cops should have spent three days on the bikini-barista bust and nine months on the violent-criminal roundup, huh? I think that would have put the priorities in proper perspective rather than the prurience.