Six Maryland men have been nabbed in Howard County’s latest undercover sting targeting “would-be johns” trying to hire prostitutes, county police announced Wednesday.
The men, including two listing Howard County addresses, were arrested at a hotel in the 8100 Block of Washington Boulevard in Jessup and charged with solicitation of prostitution and disorderly conduct.
Detectives posted fake ads on websites known to advertise prostitution and the men who called the number listed on the ad spoke with an undercover female officer who provided a meeting location, police said.
Monday’s operation was the fourth mounted this year, according to police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn. In 2017, there were four similar roundups.
“Howard County has made it a priority to address all of the issues surrounding human trafficking, which is a widespread problem across the state [of Maryland] and the United States,” Llewellyn said.
Prosecutors and police have said Howard’s proximity to Baltimore Washington International Airport and Interstates 95 and 70 make it a prime location for sex-trade meetings.
County police have had to use different websites for their ads after one site, Backpage.com, was shut down by federal authorities. Police would not name the sites used in the latest sting.
When asked how the police decide when to conduct operations, Llewellyn said “randomly.”