Three arrested in New Orleans for child sex trafficking

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Three people were arrested in New Orleans for child sex trafficking after a 17-year-old was found prostituting at a downtown hotel.

sex-trafficker-1According to State Police, the three suspected of operating a sex trafficking ring are Kendrick Pigott, 29, Gregory Russell, 31, and Tiara Smothers, 20.

Pigott is the alleged ring linger of the sex trafficking business, investigators said.

The investigation began in September after a 17-year-old was found prostituting in a downtown hotel, along with Smothers, one of the sex trafficking suspects. The teen had been missing from state Department of Child and Family services custody for seven weeks before she was found.

Investigators said the business involved renting hotel rooms in the New Orleans area.

sex-trafficker-2Pigott was also booked on seven counts of non-compliance with sex offender registry obligations and one count of unlawful use of a social networking website.

“We continue to witness our children being preyed upon by these predators,” said Col. Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent.  “I urge the public to report anything that may seem suspicious or out of place.  Investigations that combat child sex trafficking often involve the public’s assistance and by working together more children can be rescued.”

If residents have information related to criminal activity, they are encouraged to use the “See Something Send Something” application, which will connect them and their mobile devices to criminal intelligence centers nationwide.  “See Something Send Something” is a nationwide suspicious activity reporting (SAR) tool for citizens to help in the fight against terrorism and criminal activity.

sex-trafficker-3Additionally, the free app has information on what to look for and when to submit suspicious activity reports along with how to receive important alerts. The application can be found at My Mobile Witness, Inc.

The Louisiana State Police on-line reporting system is also available to the public through a convenient and secure reporting form that is submitted to the appropriate investigators.  Residents can access the form by visiting the State Police website and clicking the Suspicious Activity link.