Eight men were arrested Monday in Laurel when they responded to an online ad as part of an ongoing effort by Howard County Police to curb prostitution and human trafficking in the county.
The reverse sting was set up at a motel along Washington Blvd.
Howard County Detectives posted an ad on backpage.com luring would be johns to the location and when the men offered money for sex, they were taken into custody.
"We do a few of these operations a year. It is part of our ongoing effort to combat prostitution and human trafficking and related offenses in the county," said Howard County Police Spokesperson Lori Boone.
This was the first sting in 2017.
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Monday Howard County police arrested eight men ranging in age from 26 to 43, all of them charged with soliciting prostitution and disorderly conduct.
Last year the police department ran four of these stings, but it is not just arrests, Howard County Police also uses sites like backpage.com to message would be suspects and victims of human trafficking.
"The department even posts ads on relevant websites that warn potential suspects of the dangers and penalties for people who engage in this type of behavior, but those ads also reach out to possible human trafficking victims and tell them how they can seek help from us."
In 2016, the department arrested a total of 40 suspects in similar reverse stings.