A coordinated effort by police departments across King County prevented a potential sexual assault earlier this week, according to a statement released on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023.

The operation, involving officers from Snoqualmie, Port of Seattle Police, and King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office units, led to the arrest of a 47-year-old man at Sea-Tac Airport before he could meet with a 14-year-old victim.

The investigation began last Thursday morning after the parents of the child, identified as “JS,” discovered concerning text messages on their phone. Officers from the Snoqualmie Police Department, led by Officer Marcus Sanchez, quickly identified the suspect as Hoven Lui, 47. With assistance from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Special Operations Unit and Special Assault Unit (Child Focus), a plan was formulated to locate and apprehend Lui before he could harm the child.

Through further investigation, it was discovered that Lui was golfing out of town but planned to return to Seattle on Friday night, coinciding with the intended meeting with the victim. Officers from the Port of Seattle Police Department then joined the operation, intercepting Lui upon his arrival at Sea-Tac Airport, where they took him into custody.

Lui admitted to contacting JS and engaging in sexually suggestive conversations during questioning. He was subsequently booked into jail, and prosecutors secured a $250,000 bail and no-contact order at his first appearance.

“I am so proud to have worked with Officer Sanchez as he led the investigation in this case,” said Kathy Ungerman, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. “His professionalism, work ethic and intellect resulted in the capture of a sexual predator before he was able to contact in person the 14 yr old victim.”

The investigation remains ongoing, with search warrants being sought for additional evidence.