Cocaine Buyer Arrested In Prostitution Sting

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested for allegedly soliciting the sale of cocaine from undercover detectives after unwittingly getting caught up in a larger sting operation targeting prostitution in the resort.

Over biker weekend, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) detectives and allied partners conducted a sting operation targeting prostitution through Internet sites such as craigslist and Backpage, for example. OCPD detectives and their law enforcement allies posted offers for solicitation of prostitution under headings such as Bike Week Beth and Bike Week Beauty.

During the course of the investigation targeting prostitution, OCPD detectives came across an entry under one of their fictitious listings entitled “party supplies.” The listing read “Looking for supplies for tonight’s party. Need white, no green.” OCPD detectives know “white” means cocaine and “green” means marijuana in street slang.

The OCPD detectives responded to the advertisement offering cocaine for sale. Through a series of email exchanges, the OCPD detective arranged to meet with the suspect, later identified as Richard H. Campbell, 45, of Langhorn, Pa., to set up the sale of a quantity of powder cocaine for $50. The sale was to take place at a convenience store parking lot at North Division Street.

Around 11 p.m. last Saturday, OCPD undercover detectives arrived at the convenience store parking lot and found Campbell waiting on the sidewalk near the store. The detectives called Campbell on his cell phone and told them they had arrived and their location.

According to police reports, Campbell approached the undercover vehicle and the money for cocaine transaction was completed. However, the powdery white substance in a baggie exchanged with Campbell was not real cocaine, but a substance that only appeared to be cocaine. After the phony transaction was completed, an arrest signal was provided to other OCPD detectives in the area swooped in and arrested Campbell. Campbell was charged with soliciting the purchase of a non-controlled substance.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.