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Westminster is a city in northern Maryland that serves as the government seat of Carroll County. The city’s population was approximately 19,000 at the 2020 census. Westminster is an outlying community within the Baltimore-Towson, MD metropolitan statistical area. Prostitution and child sex trafficking activity are well documented in Westminster and surrounding areas of Carroll County.
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. Police have actively investigated cases and conducted sting operations to apprehend those purchasing sex. For example, in October 2017, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Advocacy and Investigation Center placed an undercover advertisement on Backpage.com. The ad contained the phone number to a police cellphone. Undercover detectives with the sheriff’s office received call from men who inquired about prices for different sex acts. Arrangements were made to meet at a Westminster hotel, and when the men arrived and confirmed their intent to exchange money for sex, they were arrested. The identities of the arrested sex buyers were included in press releases.
- Carroll County Sheriff’s Office
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/news/crime/cc-westminster-prostitution-sting- (2017)
- http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/topic/crime-law-justice/crime/prostitution/ (2017)
- https://www.wmar2news.com/carroll-county-crime/officers-posing-as-prostitutes-bust-johns (2017)
Background on Local Sex Trafficking:
- https://patch.com/man-kept-13 year old-prostitutes-money-plied-her-with-drugs-westminster (2014)
- https://foxbaltimore.com/unlicensed-massage-therapists-arrested-for-prostitution-in-carroll-county (2020)
- https://www.facebook.com/surveillance-undercover-operation-net-two-arrests-at-eldersburg-massage-parlor (2020)