NEW ORLEANS – A mini prostitution ring involving three 19-year-old women was discovered operating out of a Central Business District hotel, according to the New Orleans Police Department.
Around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, police discovered an ad offering sexual services on a website. A detective arranged to meet with Alexis Keener, 19, at a hotel room in the 100 block of St. Charles Avenue.
When the detective arrived, Keener called another 19-year-old woman and asked her to bring condoms to the room, according to the NOPD.
When the unidentified 19-year-old arrived, she was met by four NOPD detectives and she willingly gave a statement about her involvement in the prostitution ring, police said. She said it was her first time trying to work as a prostitute.
Through the questioning, it was learned that Katrina Walls, 24, had rented three hotel rooms in the hotel for the night. Walls eventually came to the room and detectives questioned her.
Walls said that Eddie Sowells, 23, had picked up Keener and the unidentified 19-year-old in Waco, Texas and driven them to New Orleans for the specific purpose of getting paid for sex. Sowells was set to get a 50 percent cut of each sexual transaction performed by the women, according to police.
When investigators went to another hotel room that Walls had rented, they discovered Sowells and Taylor Courtney, 19.
Sowells and Courtney were told they were under investigation for violation of Louisiana prostitution laws and were asked to turn over any weapons.
Courtney pulled out an unloaded handgun from her purse, police said. A background check showed it listed as stolen from Texas.
Detectives transported the group to the police station, which is where the unidentified 19-year-old and Courtney gave videotaped statements that implemented Sowells as a panderer/human trafficker and Wells as a prostitution promoter by placing the ads online and renting the three hotel rooms for illegal activity.
Keener was charged prostitution. The unidentified 19-year-old was not charged. Walls was charged with promoting prostitution and letting premises for prostitution. Sowells was charged with pandering, possession of stolen property and human trafficking. Courtney was charged with possession of stolen property.
Everyone involved in the case is a resident of Waco.