|IT Based Tactics||✓|
In late April 2015, deputies with the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, supported by officers from the St. Mary’s and Charles County Sheriff’s Offices and the Southern Maryland Information Center, conducted the county’s first reverse sting. The operation reportedly involved approximately 20 law enforcement officers and was staged at a motel in the unincorporated community of Prince Frederick. During the sting, two men were arrested after offering money for sexual acts to an undercover officer. An underage prostituted girl was also recovered during the operation, as was “an adult male believed [to be] involved in the trafficking of a minor for purposes of prostitution.” The logistical details of the operation– including whether or not the sting was conducted at street-level or using online advertisements– were not disclosed to the press, but the names of the johns were publicized.
Media outlets who spoke to CCSO officers following the investigation reported that “the [CCSO] chose to focus on prostitution and human trafficking — crimes that are not prominent in the community — because encounters oftentimes end in the robbery of the ‘john’ soliciting sex or the prostitute.” A CCSO representative added:
“The approach is ‘proactive’ and works as an effective deterrent, as word of the sting operations will spread among the relatively small and limited prostitution community… This is intended to dissuade people from becoming involved in prostitution and to give those who are already involved pause.”
In late June 2015, CCSO officers staged a second reverse sting, this time using online advertisements. Officers placed decoy listings suggesting prostitution to the web, and arranged to meet with the men who responded at various hotels and parking lots throughout the county. Six johns were arrested as a result; their identities were publicized in press. In early July 2015, local media outlets reported that two of the arrestees had been offered a diversionary sentence; pending completion of 40 hours of community service in the first 60 days, the men could have the charges dropped.
- Calvert County Sheriff’s Office
- St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office
- Charles County Sheriff’s Office
- Southern Maryland Information Center
- Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- Web-Based Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- Community Service:
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area: