NEW ORLEANS – The United States Marshals Service working in conjunction with several law enforcement agencies in south Louisiana found five teenagers who were missing and endangered and arrested 30 people, including 17 sex offenders as reported by Osama Ayyad of WTHR.com.
Although none of the victims are directly tied to Lincoln Parish, the LPJ feels its important to publicize the news with the increase in sex trafficking and other sexual crimes within our state and country.
According to a statement from the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the arrested and recoveries were a results of the New Orleans Task Force’s annual Operation Boo Dat.
A missing 16-year-old Marrero girl
One of the teens recovered was a 16-year-old girl who ran away from her Marrero home by allegedly stealing a family member’s car and handgun.
Known to have ties to Bourbon Street and Chef Menteur Highway areas in New Orleans, the Marrero runaway teen was found in a Little Woods home in the 7900 block of Benson Street.
“(The teen) was located living with several adults to include an adult female strip club dancer,” U.S. Marshals report said.
A 17-year-old girl wanted for human trafficking
A 17-year-old girl who has been missing for some time was arrested in Hammond on a felony human trafficking warrant out of Tangipahoa Parish, according to the report.
The 17-year-old girl was also wanted on a warrant out of Natchez, Mississippi for stealing a vehicle.
She’s known to have prior ties with several other runaway girls from the New Orleans area as well as organized crime, the report said.
A 14-year-old girl found with possible sex trafficking ties
A 14-year-old girl with possible ties to sex trafficking was recovered in a motel room near Read Boulevard in New Orleans East alongside two other teenage girls, a 17-year-old and a 15-year old.
The motel room smelled of marijuana, the report said.
The girls told investigators they were in a different motel room with men from Baton Rouge who abandoned them. The men left because a cousin got shot.
A 15-year-old girl with prior sex trafficking issues in Baton Rouge
A 15-year-old girl who ran away from home in East Baton Rouge Parish and had prior connections to sex trafficking there was recovered after her pimp had been murdered.
She was found living with her 17-year-old boyfriend and one of his relatives in New Orleans East, near I-10 Service Road and Bullard Avenue.
“Information was also developed that the female was regularly leaving the apartment to meet with adult males in New Orleans East,” the report said. “The case is also possibly associated with an armed robbery that occurred in the same area.”
Sisters, 15 & 16, missing from St. Tammany Parish & Baton Rouge
The fourth and fifth recoveries were of two sisters ages 15 and 16, missing from Baton Rouge and St. Tammany Parish respectively.
“Both females may be victims of adult(s) felony criminal sexual activities and they were recovered at an apartment in Baton Rouge,” the report said.
Sex offender faces charges of raping a 12-year-old girl
Lorenzo Oliver, a Tier 3 sex offender was arrested on Dec. 10 on a felony warrant from the New Orleans Police Department on allegations of first-degree rape of a 12-year-old girl.
Oliver is accused of raping the girl in an abandoned home in Algiers.
Oliver was arrested in 2013 for trying to rape a woman after following her into a bathroom at a Westwego library, the report said.
“(Oliver) was convicted in 2015 of Attempted Forcible Rape and Sexual Battery in Jefferson Parish and must register as a sex offender for life,” the report said.
Sex offender arrested for unreported international travel
U.S. Marshals reported the arrest of a sex offender for the alleged Failure to Report International Travel to Ethiopia to the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office as required by Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
“His original 2004 Pierce County, Washington conviction was for Molestation in the Second Degree (2 Counts) involving a 12-year-old female with molestation allegations dating back several years prior,” the report said.
He was arrested in Gonzales, LA, on Oct. 19.
Wanted sex offender found using a false name at a homeless shelter, arrested
Wanted on a Texas Department of Corrections Parole warrant from November of 2019 based on a prior Failure to Register as a Sex Offender conviction, James Sorrell was found staying in a New Orleans homeless shelter under a false name.
He was arrested on Oct. 25.
Sorrell also had active Austin, Texas PD and Dane County, Wisconsin warrants for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender.
“His original 1987 conviction in Idaho involved a 7-year-old female victim,” the report said.
Sex offender arrested after living in Tangipahoa Parish for 2 years without registration
Originally convicted of molesting a 9-year-old girl in Baton Rouge, David Douglas Smith was wanted for failing to register as a sex offender in Jackson, Mississippi in 2019.
Smith was arrested on Oct. 26 in Hammond.
“He was found in the Hammond, LA area in late October 2021 based on a collateral lead from USMS Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force (Southern Mississippi USMS Office). SMITH had been living in Tangipahoa Parish for over two years without SORNA compliance,” the report said.
Fugitive wanted for aggravated sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in Texas arrested in New Orleans home
Lamonte Versill Morris was arrested on Oct. 29 in a home in the 3800 block of D’hemecourt Street in New Orleans.
He was wanted on a San Patricio County, Texas warrant from June 2021 for the alleged Aggravated Sexual Assault on a known 14-year-old female victim.
“Morris had gone on the run knowing that he was wanted,” the report said. “He was located by the USMS New Orleans Task Force at a residence in the 3800 block of D’hemecourt Street New Orleans.”
Man on parole for enticing teens into prostitution arrested
Wanted on a parole violation, James E. Muse was arrested on Nov. 8.
“He was on parole for an Enticing Persons Under 17 into Prostitution in Orleans Parish,” the report said. “There have been reoccurring allegations reported to law enforcement of him being involved in sex trafficking.”
Muse had been an Operation Boo Dat 2020 arrest related to the alleged 2020 charges of an Aggravated Battery of a teen using a cigarette lighter.
Man convicted of 1997 forcible rape arrested for failing to register as a sex offender
A tier 3 sex offender, Anthony Roberts was arrested in Metairie on Dec. 7 on a 2019 Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office warrant for failing to register as a sex offender.
“Roberts was originally convicted in 1997 of Attempted Forcible Rape and must register for life,” the report said. “He received a 20 year LA DOC sentence for the original conviction. He was located residing at an apartment on Tabany Street in Metairie, Louisiana.”
Sex offender wanted in connection with November shooting arrested
A tier 3 sex offender, Kuimar Stephens was arrested on Dec. 22 at a New Orleans East home as he tried to run away by jumping out of a window.
Having what investigators believed was Ecstasy while being arrested, Stephens was wanted on a 2020 Orleans Parish Criminal Court warrant for failing to appear in court on a failure to register as a sex offender charge.
He hadn’t updated his registration since at least 2020, the report said.
“Stephens was also wanted on a New Orleans Police Department warrant from November of 2021 alleging that he was in possession of a rifle on Nov. 21,” the report said. “This stems from a November 21st, 2021, shooting incident in the 3400 block of Pleasure Street where it is alleged that person(s) shot at Stephens over one hundred times. An AK-47 variant rifle was recovered by New Orleans Police Department at the scene of the shooting.”