AUGUSTA, Maine — A sting conducted by the Waterville and Augusta police departments and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office resulted in 21 men being charged with engaging a prostitute, the Waterville Police Department announced Friday.

Before the operation started earlier this summer, the agencies consulted with Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, along with South Portland police and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, who conducted similar operations in the past.

“Human trafficking, to include sex trafficking, is a societal epidemic that knows no boundaries,” Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey said in a prepared statement. “In recognition of this fact, our law enforcement agencies pooled our resources to combat this issue together.”

Chief Deputy Ryan Reardon of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said in the statement the operation was conducted by placing advertisements online and on social media, “resulting in the suspects arriving at a predetermined location with the expectation of having a sexual encounter in exchange for U.S. currency with a person the suspects believed was a prostitute.”

In each case, the person the suspects would encounter was a sheriff’s office employee, and officers from all three departments would detain the suspect.

All 21 men were charged with engaging a prostitute, a Class E misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.

Charged were the following individuals: Paul Michaud, 23, of Waterville; Rayfield Dobbins, 42, of Augusta; Shawn Buck, 38, of Clinton; Jacob Vega, 26, of Corinna; Warren Graybill, 50, of Harpswell; Samuel Hazelhurst, 38, of Troy; Dennis Glidden, 57, of Pittsfield; Brian McCrea, 55, of Bowdoinham; Trevor Dunn, 46, of China; Darrell Smith, 42, of Old Town; Guy Buck, 63, of Winthrop; James Raber, 71, of Augusta; Brandon Berry, 27, of West Forks; William Boardman, 64, of Islesboro; Troy Shaw, 44, of New Gloucester; Patrick Cazemajou, 51, of Camden; James Taylor, 51, of Berlin, New Hampshire; William Norwood, 50, of Manchester; Walter Esancy, 54, of Appleton; Lewis Sukeforth, 50, of Searsmont; Mark Conley, 61, of Raymond.

BDN sports freelancer Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins.