Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Orleans police arrest 51 people on drug, prostitution charges during undercover stings

New Orleans police arrested 51 people on drug and prostitution charges during stings between May 9 and June 3, Superintendent Ronal Serpas said Wednesday.
drugbust.jpgNew Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas discusses the arrests of 51 people who were taken into custody for drug and prostitution violation during recent sting operations. The mug shots of some of those who were arrested are behind him.
Speaking at a press conference with mug shots of dozens of those arrested displayed behind him, Serpas said those taken into custody bought and sold thousands of dollars worth of crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana and counterfeit drugs during the three-week operation.
Complaints from neighbors about illegal activity spurred the action in police districts across the city, Serpas said.
"People try to destroy the quality of life in neighborhoods" with drug dealing and other illegal activities, Serpas said. "We're not going stand for it. We're going to be aggressive."
Serpas also said that many of those arrested are no strangers to law enforcement.
"People are often repeat offenders," Serpas said as he thumbed through a stack of papers several inches thick that he said were the rap sheets for 11 of the 51 people arrested. He said if all those arrested had been included the stack would have been thicker than a ream of paper.
Drug suspect is being sought by NOPD Drug suspect is being sought by NOPD The New Orleans Police Department is looking for a suspect they say bought drugs from undercover officers in a recent sting. Watch video
Commander Michael Harrison, who leads the NOPD's Specialized Investigations Division, said the undercover stings, with their audio and video recordings, are a better way to convict offenders.
"It is the best evidence we can present for criminal prosecution," he said.
In addition to the 51 people already arrested, two other suspects who bought or sold drugs during the stings remain at large. Police said information about the suspects will be released later Wednesday.

Reported by Times-Picayune