Eight men described by police as alleged “would-be johns” were arrested last week in Howard County’s first undercover sting of the new year, county police said Tuesday.
The men, all between the ages of 21 and 52, were arrested Jan. 17 at a hotel in the 10100 block of Washington Boulevard in Laurel and were charged with solicitation of prostitution and disorderly conduct, police said.
Howard County police said detectives had placed fake ads on websites known to advertise prostitution. When the suspects called the number, they spoke with an undercover female officer who provided a meeting location, police said.
The operation is part of the county’s ongoing effort to deter human trafficking, prostitution and related offenses and aids to make Howard “an unappealing place for traffickers and johns,” police said.
The men arrested last week are from areas including Columbia, Laurel, Hyattsville, Frederick, Bowie and Glen Burnie. One had no fixed address, police said.
In 2018, there were four similar roundups, according to a police spokeswoman.