A significant volume of media attention has been given to the ongoing investigation involving multiple French Quarter strip clubs. As that matter moves forward, Louisiana police have announced the arrest of 40 individuals who are now facing drug charges. While an official statement asserts that the two matters are unrelated, many in the area feel that the negative attention brought by allegations of prostitution and drug sales in those clubs has led police to crack down on other illegal activities in the area.
Several adult entertainment venues in the Bourbon Street area have been subjected to a month-long investigation. Named “Operation Trick or Treat,” that investigation has left at least nine clubs without a valid alcohol license, which can severely impact the success of any nightclub. Investigators are still building their cases on the issues of drug activity and prostitution, but charges are expected to be forthcoming.
Just weeks after that investigation hit the news, the Louisiana State Police announced the arrest of 40 individuals accused of selling drugs in the same area of New Orleans. Details on those arrests were not available at the time of this report. It is unclear how investigators linked each of these individuals to drug crimes, or what evidence has been collected to support the charges.
It is important to note that when a great deal of media attention is focused on an area that relies on tourist dollars to thrive, an equal show of police involvement often follows. New Orleans has been cast in a very negative light after Operation Trick or Treat went public, and Louisiana police have likely been asked to make an effort to crack down on related crime in the area. The 40 individuals who have been arrested on drug charges will each have the opportunity to argue the matter in court, and many of them may be able to provide reasonable doubt as to their guilt in these matters.
Source: nola.com, “Drug sales in French Quarter lead to 40 arrests: Louisiana State Police”, Emily Lane, Nov. 10, 2015