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Maryland State police sting operation leads to Columbia man's arrest

A Columbia man pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from a Maryland State police officer who posed as a minor on Craigslist in an undercover operation last May.

Howard County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Wayne Kirwan said Ryan Lee Parham, 32, of the 10000 block of Swansfield Road, believed he was communicating online with a 13-year-old girl. Parham pleaded guilty before Judge William Tucker on Thursday morning in Howard County Circuit Court.

During the hearing, Kirwan said, prosecutors told the court that Parham planned to meet with the minor for sexual activity and was arrested on May 24 at a Columbia Walgreens drugstore, where they planned to meet. Maryland State Police investigators from the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force were the arresting officers.

Parham's sentencing is scheduled for February.

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