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Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
Email: ssatchfield@wwltv.com | Twitter: @satchfield

NEW ORLEANS -- With two huge celebrations ahead in New Orleans, authorities believe prostitution will surge.

'We expect to see an increase because of the big events -- the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras,' said NOPD Eighth District Lt. Anthony Caprera.

The NOPD descended on a French Quarter hotel Monday night, arresting two suspected prostitutes and their alleged pimp, while also rescuing a 4-year-old boy who was with the group.

Officials said the boy is the son of one of the suspected prostitutes.

The suspects traveled here from Texas City, Texas, detectives said, to cash in on the busy tourism stretch ahead.

'Unusual that the child was right there and the fact that these people came in from another state strictly for prostitution here, and it's because of the events that we're about to experience,' Caprera said.

Detectives say the group placed ads on a backpage.com, which along with some other sites, is expected to be buzzing with sex solicitation during the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras.

'We're gonna be looking at a lot of the websites, you know, where they're offering those services,' said Trooper Melissa Matey with Louisiana State Police, Troop B.

Matey said a major focus is to target human trafficking rings, and -- as we first reported Monday -- authorities and advocates are on high alert.

'We do know those human trafficking cells are attracted to those large scale events, where they do know there's gonna be a lot of tourists and there is gonna be a lot of money to be made in that arena,' Matey said. 'We are working with the people that have hosted previous Super Bowls and their law enforcement officials.'

Authorities call it a form of enslavement, where women, and often underage girls, are forced into prostitution against their will.

'They may not be housed specifically in a hotel. They may be in other areas or a small apartment or something along those lines. So, we do ask the public, that if they see something that is just not right, they see something that may look suspicious, to let us know,' Matey said.

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