Howard County police arrested four men alleged to be “would-be johns” during a Monday undercover prostitution sting, the department announced Tuesday.
Brandon Lipscomb, 27, of Columbia; Nicholas J. Charles, 20, of Gwynn Oak; Thomas A. Ganzermiller, 42, of Pasadena; and Bruce V. Tran, 47, of Gaithersburg, were arrested Monday at a hotel in the 9800 block of Washington Boulevard in Laurel and were charged with solicitation of prostitution and disorderly conduct, police said.
The sting was part of the department’s effort to combat prostitution, human trafficking and related offenses in the county, police said. Howard detectives posted fake ads on websites known to advertise prostitution, police said. When the men called the number, they spoke with an undercover female officer who provided a meeting location.
None of the four men have attorneys listed in online court records.
Monday’s operation is also part of Howard’s effort “in making the county an unappealing place for traffickers and johns,” police said.
In January, eight men were arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution and disorderly conduct after Howard police conducted an undercover operation at another Laurel hotel.
Howard police can offer treatment, housing and other help to victims of human trafficking. To speak privately to a detective if someone suspects human trafficking, if they are a victim or know someone who is a victim, they can call 911 or 410-313-3200.
Howard’s police tip line is 410-290-3784 or email@example.com.