BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An undercover sting led to the human trafficking arrest of a Laurel man accused of pimping teenage girls online, authorities said Tuesday.
An undercover Howard County detective first noticed a 13-year-old girl who had posted prostitution ads on the internet bulletin board website Backpage, and then reached out to the girl under the guise of a young girl looking to join the teen to make money, according to police. The teen agreed to meet at a public place in Columbia.
Investigators were lying in wait when the teen, a second girl and their driver arrived, and the man was taken into custody. Inside the car, police said they found condoms, cash and several cell phones belonging to the man and the girls.
Arthur Coleman, 46, of Larchdale Road, was charged with multiple counts of human trafficking, prostitution, sexual solicitation of a minor, sex abuse of a minor, and attempted second-degree sex offense, according to police. He remains in custody without bond at the Howard County Detention Center.
Detectives suspect Coleman was arranging appointments for the girls to have sex for money and claiming a share of the proceeds. He allegedly rented hotel rooms for the girls and drove them to “outcall” appointments at clients’ homes or locations of their choosing in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.
The girls have been placed in appropriate services, police said.
Anyone with information about human trafficking in Howard County is asked to call 410-313-STOP.