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Six men arrested, charged with prostitution solicitation

Howard County police are continuing to crack down on prostitution following the arrest of six men for solicitation of prostitution and related charges, police announced Friday.

Davon Aaron Distance, 28, of Baltimore; Samuel Alan Edwards, 20, of Severn; Jeffrey Brian Bellamy, 44, of Abington; Jerone Harper, 23, of Laurel; Richard Jonathan Cookson, 47, of Elkridge; and Chandima Kavisekaramalawa, 33, of Columbia, are all facing charges of solicitation of prostitution and disorderly conduct.

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Earlier this week, police said, officers were investigating prostitution solicitation in the 8000 block of Washington Boulevard in Jessup after they placed a fake ad on the Backpage website, which is known to be used for prostitution. Once men called the ad's phone number, they then spoke with undercover female officers, who determined a place to meet.

The men were later arrested at the same location.

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According to spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn, the police department will be posting new ads on similar websites to remind the community of the dangers and punishments relating to human trafficking. Llewellyn said police also offer resources to victims, such as housing, treatment assistance, and transportation.

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