North Laurel, MD

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

North Laurel is a census-designated place of approximately 25,000 residents, located near Laurel and Jessup in Howard County, Maryland. Situated between Route 1 and Interstate 95, it is one of several unincorporated areas in the vicinity that are known for prevalent street- and hotel-based prostitution and sex trafficking.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and the additional crimes generated by the sex trade, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. The Howard County Police Department began conducting street-level reverse stings in North Laurel in the mid- to late 1990s. Currently, reverse stings are conducted several times a year, at times netting upwards of 20 sex buyers in a single operation. Police report that investigations and sting operations are frequently spurred by complaints from local residents. To deter other would-be offenders, the HCPD routinely releases all arrested sex buer names, ages, and other identifying information to the public.

In 2012, three large scale reverse stings were conducted in coordination with multiple agencies, resulting in the arrest of 32 men. Following the success of the operations, Howard County Police Chief William McMahon said that” [the HCPD] welcome[s] the opportunity to partner with other agencies in our efforts to send the message that Howard County will not tolerate prostitution.

Key Partners

  • Howard County Police Department
  • North Laurel Police Department
  • Maryland State Police
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:

State Maryland
Type City
Population 24856
Comments are closed.