Portland police arrested four men with ties to Westbrook, Gorham and Buxton on charges of engaging a prostitute on Wednesday.

According to Lt. James Sweatt, the men were arrested after they responded to an advertisement on the website, Backpage.com. Jason Rickett, 31, of Gorham; Jack Chase, 50, of Buxton; Nicholas St. Amand, 29, of Gorham; and Andrew Woody, 50, of Westbrook, were all charged with engaging a prostitute. Chase was also charged with assaulting a female undercover police officer.

The arrests were part of a Portland Police Department Crime Reduction Unit operation targeting the demand for prostitution and human trafficking. The operation targeted those who use the Internet to purchase sex, Sweatt said.

Engaging a prostitute is a class E crime, punishable by imprisonment for up to six months and a fine up to $1,000.

Jack ChaseJason RickettNicholas St. AmandAndrew Woody

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