A transient man believed to be running sex trafficking operations in several states was arrested by Howard County police in connection with a drug activity and prostitution investigation at an Elkridge motel, according to a police press release Thursday.
Philip Simmons, 37, of no fixed address, was charged with three counts of human trafficking, and operating a prostitution business, police said.
Several months ago, police said they received information that Simmons was forcing women to perform sex acts in several states in the region.
Police said Simmons posted ads on the website Backpage.com to solicit prostitution customers.
Using tips, police set up a meeting that led them to the Terrance Motel, located in the 6200 block of Washington Boulevard in Elkridge. Police said they observed a man fitting Simmons' description and two women exiting and entering three hotel rooms several times.
On Jan. 28, tactical units made entry into the three motel rooms and took Simmons into custody without incident, police said.
Simmons is being held in the Howard County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.