WESTMINSTER, Md. - The manager at a motel in Westminster says it doesn't have a prostitution problem, but it set the stage for the arrests of three alleged johns---all of whom bought into a bogus Backpage ad offering sex for a price.
"I guess people got a lot of secrets," said Terry Taggart of Westminster.
According to charging documents, Joshua Semon offered $60 for a short stay, Andrew Maley negotiated $70 for 45 minutes after pledged to bring some marijuana to get a discounted rate and Mingo Hubbard dug deep for 80 bucks for half an hour.
Once they arrived at motel rooms, as soon as the money changed hands, the female police officers posing as prostitutes gave the signal and other officers rushed in to arrest them.
Some have argued prostitution is a victimless crime, but there's no question these three men fell victim to a sting through a go-to website for johns looking for the real thing, and they're not getting much sympathy in the court of public opinion.
"No. You know I'm a married guy,” said Randy Weber of Westminster, “I used to be a little wild, but you know what, man? If this is what you're doing, you got to take your chances. You think you're going to get away with something. Bam! There's consequences."
The undercover operation came in response to complaints from area hotels, and police say once they posted the ad, in no time, the phones lit up with callers.