HOWARD COUNTY, MD - A Laurel man has been charged with human trafficking two young girls, ages 13 and 15.
Arthur Coleman, 46, of Larchdale Road, was charged with multiple counts of human trafficking, prostitution and other sex-related offenses.
An undercover female Howard County detective reached out to the 13-year-old girl, who she saw posted several prostitution ads online. The detective posed as a young girl interested in joining the teen to make money. The teen replied to the undercover officer that she and an older man would pick her up in a public place in Columbia.
At the agreed upon location, officers were waiting for the teen and the male driver, who was later identified as Coleman. When they arrived, the 13-year-old and a second girl, 15, were in the car. Officials believe that Coleman was arranging appointments for the girls to have sex for money. In his car, police found condoms, cash, and multiple cell phones belonging to Coleman and the two girls.
Detectives also believe that Coleman has rented hotel rooms for the prostitution of young girls, and has driven girls to locations across the DMV. Police said Coleman took some of the money paid to the girls at these meetings.
Coleman was charged with multiple counts of human trafficking, prostitution, sexual solicitation of a minor, sex abuse of a minor and attempted 2nd-degree sex offense. He is being held without bond at the Howard County Detention Center.
Both teen girls have been placed in victim services.
Sherry Llewelyn, Howard County Police Department Publlic Affairs Director, said the county is cracking down on human trafficking, hiring extra detectives, increasing training, and conducting thorough investigations.
"Our detectives have been posting adds on websites where we know people are looking for prostitution adds, our adds say, we are watching you, we know what you are looking for, we are going to monitor you and if you take part in human trafficking we are going to arrest you," explained Llewelyn.
Anyone with information about human trafficking in Howard County should call 410-313-STOP or email HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.