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Greenbelt is a city in Prince George’s County, Maryland. It is a suburb of Washington, D.C., and at the 2020 census, its population was just under 25,000. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and throughout the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. For example, in February, 2012, police raided three acupuncture and massage parlors in Greenbelt, each of which they suspected were operating as houses of prostitution. Members of the Metropolitan Area Drug Task Force (MADTF) and the Greenbelt Police Department conducted raids on businesses on Belle Pointe Drive, Hanover Parkway, and Greenway Center Drive, in the city. The search and seizure warrants served were obtained after an ongoing investigation revealed illegal sex acts were being performed inside the businesses in exchange for money. Two of the businesses had been previously raided by MADTF and Greenbelt Police last summer, but the businesses resumed their illegal operations, according to police.
Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking. For example, in July 2013, state, local and FBI law enforcement officers participated in a coordinated child sex trafficking operation resulted in the arrest of three suspected pimps/traffickers. The Baltimore FBI spokesman at the time said said that the three offenders operated in Prince George’s County. In 2020, a Greenbelt man pleaded guilty to sex trafficking and pimping charges. In February, 2022, a Prince George’s County sex trafficker was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for the trafficking of two minors.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. For example, in February, 2023, the Greenbelt Police Department announced that one of its officers was placed on administrative leave after he was accused of breaking Maryland’s prostitution laws in Prince George’s County. The Greenbelt Police Department tweeted a news release about the charge against the officer, noting that police in Prince George’s County issued him a criminal summons on Feb. 16. A police incident report stated that a Greenbelt police department cruiser had pulled into the a hotl parking lot. A man who was later identified as the suspect emerged from the vehicle. He was seen going up to the hotel elevator and then waiting outside the hotel room till a woman directed him into the room. Later, he drove away in the police cruiser, and the woman he met in the hotel room was detained and interviewed. She said that she had posted an ad for sex, and the suspect responded and asked for her rate, and she had asked him to come to the hotel’s address. He arrived, they allegedly had sex, and he paid her 160$. A news release stated that department policy required that the suspect be put on administrative leave and that his police powers be suspended, pending the outcome of the criminal case. The department also said that it was conducting an internal affairs investigation. The officer’s identity was included in the press release, and local news reports. A week later, a police incident report stated that
- Greenbelt Police Department
- Prince George’s County Police Department
- Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office
Sex Buyer Identity Disclosure:
- https://wtop.com/greenbelt-cop-charged-with-prostitution-offense/ (2023)
- https://www.dcnewsnow.com/greenbelt-police-officer-charged-with-breaking-prostitution-laws-in-prince-georges-county/ (2023)
- https://localtoday.news/md/police-greenbelt-officer-charged-with-prostitution-81725.html (2023)
- https://www.wusa9.com/greenbelt-police-officer-arrested-charged-violating-maryland-prostitution-laws (2023)
- https://www.msn.com/greenbelt-police-officer-charged-with-breaking-prostitution-laws-in-prince-georges-county (2023)
- https://morningsidemaryland.com/greenbelt-police-officer-charged-with-prostitution-offense/ (2023)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- “Prince George’s ‘Pimps’ Swept Up in Nationwide Raid Aimed at Underage Prostitution”, D.C. Crime Stories, July 29 2013.
- https://wjla.com//police-raid-suspected-prostitution-houses-in-greenbelt (2012)
- https://www.ice.gov/woman-arrested-conspiring-greenbelt-MD-man-engage-violent-sex-trafficking-scheme (2013)
- https://www.ice.gov/maryland-man-convicted-violent-sex-trafficking-conspiracy (2014)
- https://www.nvdaily.com/courts/online-prostitution-sting-leads-to-11-arrests (2014)
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/greenbelt-pimp-kept-minutes-contracts-with-victims (2020)
- https://www.shorenewsnetwork.com/dre-frame-of-greenbelt-indicted-for-sex-trafficking-in-maryland/ (2020)
- https://patch.com/district-columbia/washingtondc/greenbelt-man-charged-child-sex-trafficking-dc (2020)
- “Police: 16-Year-Old Girl Held as Sex Slave in Md.”, CBS/WUSA-TV 9, June 27 2014.
- https://www.justice.gov/maryland-us-attorney-s-office-continues-fight-against-human-trafficking-1 (2022)
- https://smnewsnet.com/prince-georges-county-sex-trafficker-sentenced-to-20-years-in-federal-prison-for-the-trafficking-of-two-minors/ (2022)
- https://www.justice.gov/sex-trafficker-sentenced-20-years-federal-prison-trafficking-two-minors (2022)
- https://millstonenews.com/human-trafficking-in-our-backyards-presentation-at-the-may-6-conference/ (2023)