Anne Arundel County, MD

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Anne Arundel County is a county of approximately 540,000 residents, located south of Baltimore in Maryland. Situated along Route 295, it contains a cluster of towns and unincorporated areas that are known for prevalent street- and hotel-based prostitution and sex trafficking (e.g, Laurel, Jessup).  Among the problems stemming from the local commercial sex market are assaults on sex sellers, including cases of homicide.  At least one serial rapist of women engaged in prostitution is known to have operated in the city, and there have been many documented cases of robbery and assault.

Among the tactics used to try to contain commercial sex and the crimes surrounding the market are those targeting demand.  The Anne Arundel Police Department has conducted many stings using undercover officers posing as sex sellers and johns, arresting both buyers and sellers.  The names, ages, and hometowns of each arrested individual are released to the media. For example, in February 2014, AACPD officers conducted a web-based reverse sting that resulted in the arrest of at least one sex buyer. The individual, a man from Pikesville, was apprehended after arriving at a local hotel to meet what he thought was a woman offering commercial sex acts. The john came to the designated location dressed in “a shirt with a gold badge on the front,” and a BB gun. Officers charged him with impersonating a police officer, solicitation, and attempted robbery, as it was determined that the john had planned to rob the prostituted woman.  In March 2014, a web-based reverse sting resulted in 11 arrests in the hotel district near the Washington-Baltimore airport.

The city of Annapolis is also known to have conducted reverse stings periodically since 1991, and substantial complaints from businesses and residents play a role in police conducting anti-prostitution operations. agencies have conducted both street-level and web-based reverse stings, and have publicized the identities of those arrested. One operation was a street-level reversal occurring in October 2012, and resulted in the arrest of three sex buyers. The city also has had neighborhood groups active in collaborating to combat demand, and to have some efforts at public education targeting the buying of sex as the source of prostitution and sex trafficking.

Key Partners

  • Anne Arundel County Police Department
  • Maryland State Police
  • Howard County Police Department
  • Laurel Police Department
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Key Sources

National Assessment Interview

Street-Level Reverse Stings:

Web-Based Reverse Stings:

Neighborhood Action, Public Education:


Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Maryland
Type County
Population 510507
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