A multi-agency police investigation and coordinated operation in Maryland
on June 3 has netted more than a dozen individuals suspected to be part of a criminal sex trafficking operation within Washington County, Md.
On Thursday, June 3, members of the Hagerstown Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Maryland State Police computer crimes section and child recovery unit combined efforts to target sex trafficking within Washington County Maryland, said Detective Sgt. Andrew Lewis, Criminal Investigations Supervisor.
“Numerous officers from each agency conducted multiple different operations over the entire day. Sex trafficking victims and suspects were targeted along with child sex predators and individuals supporting sex work in general,” said Sgt. Lewis. “This operation was a great success.”
In total, the above agencies arrested or detained 19 different subjects. Of those 19 subjects, seven of them will not be charged at this time as they were placed into harm reduction programs by the Washington County Health Department. The remaining 12 individuals have been charged.
A Berkeley Springs man was among the suspects charged.
Subjects charged were:
–John D. Litaker, 54, of Berkeley Springs (general prostitution, CDS possession and possession of paraphernalia),
–Jackie L. Cobbs, 34, of Hagerstown (Sexual Solicitation of a Minor)
— Luis Enrique Franco Ramos, 27, of Hagerstown (Sexual Solicitation of a Minor)
— Brooke Marie Rutherford, 36, of Hagerstown (Possession with intent distribute CDS – Opioid, Possession CDS, Prostitution)
— Juan Alberto Martinez Reyes, 37, of Smithsburg (Prostitution: General)
— Charles Ira Cooke, 75, of Hagerstown (Prostitution: General)
— Gibson Opoku-Mensah, 43, of Hagerstown (Prostitution: General)
— James Lester Baker, 60, of Hagerstown (Prostitution: General)
— Moises Isahi Gonzalez Sanchez, 28, of Hagerstown (Prostitution: General)
— Frank Edward Gordon II, 57, of Fort Loudon, Pa. (Prostitution: General)
— Terry Lynn Fraley, 65, of Williamsport (Prostitution: General)
— Jordan Jason Phillips, 21, of Shepherdstown (Prostitution: General)
The Washington County Health Department were also part of the team effort with police agencies, assisting victims with harm reduction programs and other basic assistance. Police said their contributions were “greatly needed.”
“The main goal of these operations is to abolish sex trafficking within Washington County. Sex trafficking of any kind and those who support it, will be aggressively targeted and enforced,” said Detective Sgt. Andrew Lewis, Criminal Investigations Supervisor .
In addition to the dozen suspects charged in the operation, six more arrest warrants were served and suspected heroin and methamphetamine were recovered.
This investigation was a coordinated effort between The Hagerstown Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Maryland State Police computer crimes section, Maryland State Police child recovery unit and Washington County Health Department under the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network (MCIN).
“The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services provides grant funding and strategic support to MCIN member sites to identify, disrupt, and dismantle criminal organizations through inter-agency collaboration and data sharing to make Maryland safer,” police officials said.