Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Makes Another Craigslist Prostitution Sting Arrest


    A 54-year-old Centralia man was arrested on suspicion of patronizing prostitution as part of an ongoing Lewis County Sheriff’s Office sting on the online classifieds website craigslist.com, according to the sheriff’s office.

    Alan Toby was arrested after arriving at the Motel 6 in Centralia Thursday afternoon. He had agreed to meet who he thought was a 30-year-old woman, said Patrol Commander Steve Aust.

    Detectives had responded to an advertisement on the website in which Toby allegedly sought sex in return for a computer, Aust said.

    Toby was arrested and booked in the Lewis County Jail, but has since posted bail. He’s been charged with patronizing prostitution in Lewis County District Court. The crime is a gross misdemeanor.

    Toby’s arrest is the third in a month connected to the sheriff’s office’s ongoing monitoring of craigslist.com.

    Winlock Postmaster Kenneth Goodwin was arrested May 7 and charged with patronizing prostitution after a similar ruse by detectives. Tumwater resident Michael James Eplett responded to a post advertising sex with an underage girl May 4 and was arrested and charged with attempted second-degree child rape. The 23-year-old registered sex offender is currently being held on $50,000 bail after pleading not guilty.

    Erik Allyn Brisbin, 46, a King County resident, was arrested Dec. 30, 2009, after allegedly responding to a post by detectives advertising sex with a mother and her underage daughter for money. He pleaded not guilty. His case has not yet gone to trial.

    Aust said detectives would continue monitoring the site and will occasionally make posts of their own.

    “The benefit is getting these people off the street before they can victimize someone,” Aust said. “These guys are determined to commit a crime.”


    Eric Schwartz: (360) 807-8245