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September 24, 2012Baltimore, MD, United StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

23 arrested in Maryland tri-county undercover prostitution solicitation sting

BALTIMORE – On Thursday, special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and detectives and officers of the Maryland State Police (MSP), Howard County Police Department (HCPD), Anne Arundel County Police Department (AACOPD) and Laurel City Police Department (LCPD) conducted an enforcement operation targeting individuals soliciting prostitution in the area.

"HSI special agents spearheaded this tri-county public safety initiative with the Maryland State Police and police departments of Howard, Anne Arundel and Laurel City," said HSI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge William Winter. "This enforcement action was an effort to further HSI criminal investigations. 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."

Arrested by HCPD on Maryland state law charges of solicitation of a prostitute, assignation and disorderly conduct were 14 males residing in College Park, Md.; Columbia, Md.; Hyattsville, Md.; Jessup, Md.; Odenton, Md.; New Carrollton, Md.; Seat Pleasant, Md.; Silver Spring, Md.; Elysburg, Pa.; Marlin, Pa.; Alexandria, Va.; Woodbridge, Va. or Washington, D.C.;

Arrested by the AACOPD on Maryland state law charges of solicitation of a prostitute and assignation were seven males residing in Hyattsville, Md.; Laurel, Md.; Silver Spring, Md. or Centerville, Tenn.

Arrested by the LCPD on charges of solicitation of a prostitute were two males residing in Laurel or Rockville, Md.

"I am extremely proud of the officers and their contributions throughout this extensive operation," said Anne Arundel Chief of Police Larry W. Tolliver. "Our agency will continue to work closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to focus on suppressing crime and improving the quality of life for citizens."

"We welcome the opportunity to partner with other agencies in our efforts to send the message that Howard County will not tolerate prostitution," said Howard County Police Chief William McMahon. "The disruption to neighborhoods brought on by these crimes is unacceptable. We continue to work with our communities to improve and preserve their quality of life."

Laurel City Police Chief Richard McLaughlin said, "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. The City of Laurel Police Department looks forward to future endeavors."

"This is a public safety concern that crosses jurisdictional boundaries and we believe coordinating our efforts lead to a more successful enforcement initiative," said Colonel Marcus Brown, superintendent of the MSP. "Our goal is to provide effective enforcement that addresses organized crime, while increasing the level of safety for the citizens of Maryland."

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 investigation is continuing.

If you notice suspicious activity in your community, call ICE's Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or report tips online.