Prince George’s County, 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

Prince George’s County occupies the suburban Washington, DC portion of Maryland, and contains the cities of College Park, Oxon Hill, and South Laurel, as well as unincorporated communities/census designated places such as Largo. Its population is over 955,000. Prostitution and child sex trafficking within the county are well documented. 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 February, 2022, a Prince George’s County sex trafficker was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for the trafficking of two minors.

The Prince George’s County Police Department has provided support for reverse stings to communities within the county.  For example, in 2012, the PGPD conducted a reverse sting in the city of College Park, but also stated that the department conducts reverse stings throughout the county.  In late April 2014, the PGPD announced it would “live Tweet” during future reverse sting operations, focusing on revealing the identities of newly arrested sex buyers from the moment they are taken into custody. A reverse sting was conducted in May 2014, but no arrests were made (it is the only reverse sting operation we have encountered nationwide over the past 50 years that resulted in no reported arrests). In 2016 PGPD conducted another large scale combination sting/reverse sting in College Park resulting in the arrest of more than 80 individuals, the majority of which were male sex buyers. In June, 2016, a Prince George’s County elementary school teacher was among those arrested at a hotel in Lanham and charged with prostitution and sex trafficking. In August, 2019, a Prince George’s County police officer pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from a prostituted transgender person, and had been placed on leave since the allegations surfaced in 2018.

At least one web-based reverse sting has been conducted in Largo: in October, 2021, an assistant coach for the Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team was arrested after he had arranged to meet with an “anonymous online contact” to purchase sex in exchange for $80.  He was arrested when he arrived at the hotel at the agreed upon time and hotel, and handed the undercover officer $80.  In January, 2022 the Terrapins announced a 30-day suspension for the sex buyer, and in February, 2022, the charges were dropped.

Key Partners

  • Prince George’s County Police Department
  • Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office

Key Sources

Reverse Stings; Disclosure of Sex Buyer Identities:

Background on Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Local Prostitution Ordinance:

State Maryland
Type County
Population 955306
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