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23 Arrested in Tri-County Prostitution Sting

Seven men were arrested by Anne Arundel County police on charges of solicitation.

Several Odenton residents were among the 23 men who were arrested in a tri-county undercover prostitution sting along Route 1 in the Jessup area involving federal, state and local police agencies, officials announced Wednesday.

The men were arrested last week in the vicinity of previous prostitution stings, according to Mary Phelan, a spokesperson for Howard County police.

The Thursday arrests come about two months after police arrested ten men in a July prostitution sting along Route 1 in Laurel, one of whom included a high-ranking Food and Drug Administration official. In May, police arrested eight men in another prostitution bust on Route 1.

Phelan said police conducted the sting after receiving neighborhood complaints.

Police organizations that participated in the sting included U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, Maryland State Police, Howard County Police, Anne Arundel County Police and Laurel City Police.

Fourteen men were arrested by Howard County police and charged with solicitation of a prostitute. Seven men were arrested by Anne Arundel County police on charges of solicitation and two were arrested by Laurel City police.

Maryland men arrested were from College Park, Columbia, Laurel, Rockville, Hyattsville, Jessup, Odenton, New Carrollton, Seat Pleasant and Silver Spring, officials said. Others were from Elysburg, PA; Marlin, PA; Alexandria, VA; Woodbridge, VA;  Centerville, TN; and Washington, DC, according to officials.

“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 in a statement.

Winter said the action was taken to further Homeland Security criminal investigations together with local and state law enforcement, according to the statement.

Thea Warner September 26, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Along Route 1 in the Jessup area?? Shocking, I tell you! Seriously, I drove down this stretch a couple months ago and it is so seedy it is depressing. It is going to take a lot more than a few arrests to bring this area up. Very sad, especially for children growing up there.
Michelle W September 27, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Men coming from all over the area to this site for prostitutes - the word must be out!
Brian C. September 27, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Come on people this stretch of Route 1 has been known for its prostitutes for many many years. Why all of a sudden are all these arrest going on? You can bet someone is up for promotion or running for public office and can use these arrest to boost their career.
Thea Warner September 27, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Brian C. - it certainly sounds like it. Unless children are involved or there are others who have been coerced into prostitution, it seems like kind of a waste of taxpayer dollars. If something is done to improve the area so that thriving businesses move in (I am sure areas along rt. 1 were in better shape before the large highways were constructed), at least some of this will be forced out. Looks like they have a long way to go, unfortunately.

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