State police searching for alleged sex trafficker


Posted on April 16, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 6:41 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Louisiana State Police say the man accused of trafficking at least two women to Baton Rouge for sex could be anywhere at this point.

They are now looking for Emmanuel Bailey, 21, from Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Investigators identified Bailey as a suspect and alleged pimp during an undercover sting last month.

They used an online solicitation to meet up with a woman at a Bluebonnet Boulevard Hotel. Trooper Melissa Matey said the woman told police about Bailey's operation.

"She was being held forcefully," said Matey. "Things were being withheld from her including money and of course threats of harm."

Matey said detectives determined several other women were being trafficked by Bailey as well.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said human trafficking is a big problem in the corridor between Baton Rouge and the Big Easy. He also said traffickers take advantage of women and young girls, usually at their most vulnerable time.

"People who want to take advantage of women in this business are looking for women who have been hurt. They are looking for the women who are addicted," Serpas said. "Then they keep them in that cycle of addiction and violence."

The chief said police notice an increase in sex trafficking during large events such as Super Bowls, Final Fours and Mardi Gras.

"There is probably some truth that during major events the uptick occurs in prostitution that is brought into the city by organized networks, human traffickers, if you will," said Serpas. "It also involves children sometimes, which is particularly horrific."

Local police departments and sheriff's offices have teamed up with the state police for "Operation Heat," a statewide crackdown on sex crimes.