Howard County police have charged a man and a woman from Baltimore with human trafficking at a hotel in Elkridge.
Norman Hightower, 39, and Nicole Marie Riley, 28, both without a fixed address, are charged with prostitution and sex trafficking and are currently being held without bond at the Howard County Detention Center.
During the course of an undercover operation targeting human traffickers, on Feb. 24, police learned of possible prostitution activity in the county. Through investigation, and with cooperation from a hotel in Elkridge, detectives determined that human trafficking activity was occurring.
Police believe Hightower and Riley posted online ads, arranged prostitution appointments and travel for the victim, an 18-year-old female, and kept all of her money.
The victim was referred to appropriate services for assistance.
Howard County has an ongoing effort to combat prostitution, human trafficking, and related offenses. Investigators are focused on arresting traffickers and offering assistance to victims through housing, treatment, transportation, and other services.
Detectives regularly monitor websites for prostitution ads and place their own ads from the police department with warnings not to engage in prostitution or human trafficking in Howard County.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have information about suspected human trafficking or prostitution to contact police at 410-313-STOP or HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.