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.