Sting nets 10 arrests for solicitation

August 30, 1994|By Gregory P. Kane | Gregory P. Kane,Sun Staff Writer

The payments allegedly offered by the men who drove to the corner of Ritchie Highway and Tungston Avenue looking for sex ranged from $5 to $20, police said.

The woman they approached turned out to be an undercover detective.

Anne Arundel County police arrested eight men -- four Thursday night and four Friday night -- in the sting operation designed to curb prostitution in Brooklyn Park. All were charged with solicitation, police said.

Two women were also arrested. One was charged with solicitation and possession of cocaine Thursday night after she hitched a ride with an undercover detective and offered to perform a sex act, police said. The other woman was arrested Friday night and charged with soliciting after she asked an undercover detective to get her a motel room where she would have sex with him for money, police said.

The county police sting operation was in response to citizen complaints about prostitution in the neighborhood, police said. All those arrested have been released.

"We've had quite a few complaints," said Capt. Gary Barr, commander of the Northern District. "We've been working on the problem for a while now."

Captain Barr said this was the first time "in a while" that the department had used a female officer in a sting operation.

"There's plenty of customers out there," he said, explaining why police decided to use a female officer. "There's plenty of clientele."

Captain Barr could not say what impact the sting would have on prostitution in Brooklyn Park. However, he conceded that the women and clients may simply move their business.

"Enforcement efforts will move them to Matthews Avenue," Captain Barr said "It's a recurring problem."

The men were arrested one by one when they approached the officer and asked if she was working, police said. When the officer replied that she was working, the men said they wanted her to perform a sex act, police said.

City police conducted a similar operation in South Baltimore last week and made 15 arrests.

That the county's operation and the one run out of the city's Southern District occurred on the same weekend was purely "coincidental," Captain Barr said.

All but one of those arrested were released on their own recognizance.

A Glen Burnie District Court commissioner set bail at $500 Friday morning for one man who was a new Maryland resident. He paid the bail Friday and was released.

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