14 arrested, 2 guns, 53 doses of Ecstasy seized by Human Trafficking Task Force

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – The Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force arrested 14 people for prostitution, pandering, and drug and gun charges last week.

The task force was created to focus on sex workers and human traffickers during the NBA All-Star weekend, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said today in a press release.

Eight women were arrested for prostitution and one for pandering on February 16, with three more prostitution arrests, one more pandering arrests, and the drug and weapons charges coming the next day, according to Normand.

None of the woman interviewed after their arrests admitted to being forced or trafficked into prostitution, Normand said.

During the sweep, an investigator was directed to a motel on Airline Highway after responding to a Back Page ad.

Once inside the room, a the detective found a small amount of marijuana. A man, who was later identified as Justin Williams, attempted to leave the scene once the investigator began arresting the woman, Shana Chancellor, for prostitution.

Williams was stopped in his vehicle by officers at the scene. They found 53 dosage units of Ecstasy, 1.2 grams of cocaine, 27.4 grams of marijuana and two handguns, a Rugar .380 caliber semi-automatic and a Beretta .40 caliber semi-automatic, in Williams’ vehicle.

He was arrested and faces drug and weapons charges, according to Normand.

Four of the arrests were made at 2610 Williams Boulevard in Kenner, two were made in the 1500 block of Veterans Boulevard in Kenner, one arrest was made at 2125 Veterans in Kenner, two were made at 5733 Airline Drive in Metairie, two arrests were made along the Westbank Expressway in Harvey, and one arrest each was made at 3300 South I-10 Service Road in Metairie, 5616 People Avenue in New Orleans, and at location listed as “unknown” by the task force.

The Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force is funded by a federal grant through the Bureau of Justice Assistant The service provider for this grant is the New Orleans Covenant House.