SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

February 5, 2014

Middleton man among 18 charged in 'john' sting

MIDDLETON — A Middleton contractor is among 18 people charged in a pair of undercover sting operations targeting men seeking prostitutes online, the Suffolk District Attorney’s office said yesterday.

Harold E. MacFarland Jr., 43, was arrested Friday after allegedly arranging to trade the prescription drug Adderall for sex with what turned out to be a Boston police officer working undercover.

He and eight other men charged Friday were arraigned on Monday in South Boston Municipal Court. In addition to seeking sex for a fee, MacFarland is charged with possessing a class E controlled drug with intent to distribute.

The arrests, which also took place on Jan. 24 and included a Boston College student who thought he had bargained the price down from $200 to $45, were part of an effort by the Boston police Human Trafficking Unit and the Suffolk District Attorney’s office to shift the focus onto the “johns,” those seeking sex.

The idea is to drive down demand, according to a press release announcing the arrests.

Suffolk DA Dan Conley is also pushing legislation to toughen penalties against those seeking to buy sex.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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