Laurel Police, along with other county, state and federal law enforcement officers, arrested 23 men in a reverse prostitution sting last week, according to a Howard County news release.
The operation, which was carried out on Thursday, Sept. 20, was conducted across the jurisdictions of Howard County, Anne Arundel County and city of Laurel by officers from each department.
The three local police departments also operated in conjunction with special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and detectives and officers of the Maryland State Police.
“The City of Laurel Police Department found this to be a beneficial operation working with other local jurisdictions and found that mutual cooperation removes any jurisdictional limitations," Laurel City Police Chief Richard McLaughlin said in a released statement. "The City of Laurel Police Department looks forward to future endeavors.”
Laurel Police arrested two of the 23 total men arrested in the sting, one of which was from Laurel. The news release added that at least one of the seven men arrested by Anne Arundel police was from Laurel.
“This is a public safety concern that crosses jurisdictional boundaries and we believe coordinating our efforts lead to a more successful enforcement initiative,” said Col. Marcus Brown, superintendent of the Maryland State Police. “Our goal is to provide effective enforcement that addresses organized crime, while increasing the level of safety for the citizens of Maryland.”
HSI Special Agent in Charge William Winter said his department spearheaded the tri-county initiative.
"HSI together with our local and state law enforcement partners are committed to protecting Maryland communities and continue to identify and dismantle the criminal organizations involved in these illicit activities," Winter said in a statement.
The cases are being prosecuted by Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office, the Howard County Office of the State's Attorney and the Prince George's County Office of the States Attorney, the release said.
Police said the investigation is continuing.