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Two teens rescued, 6 people arrested in prostitution sting

(Source: Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office) (Source: Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office)
BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

Bossier authorities recently rescued two teenagers who were brought to Louisiana from Arkansas and forced into prostitution.

The 18-year-olds told undercover agents they traveled April 7 from Little Rock, Ark., in a small U-Haul truck and had not eaten in 24 hours. The truck later was reported as stolen.

The girls are among six females and two males that members of the Bossier Sheriff/Bossier Police Narcotics Task Force found April 10 in a one-bedroom apartment in Bossier City, the Bossier Sheriff's Office reports.

Now a Village Lane resident faces charges for letting his apartment be used for the prostitution acts.

And five other people have been arrested as part of the investigation into human trafficking.

Authorities were conducting a sting operation at the apartment when a 19-year-old female allegedly agreed to having sex in exchange for money from an undercover agent with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office.

While in the living room, the agent heard noise from the bedroom, where six others - four females and two males - were waiting for the next prostitution call, sheriff's Lt. Bill Davis said.

Agents questioned 10 people and arrested six.

Purchased, an organization that helps women who are victims of sex trafficking, is helping the two 18-year-old females.

Two 19-year-old females refused help from undercover agents.

A fifth teenage female was arrested on a prostitution charge. Bailey C. Gibbs, 19, of Little Rock, was booked into Bossier Maximum-Security Facility at 2:30 p.m. April 10. Her bond has been set at $1,000.

Among the others arrested are four Arkansas men and the Bossier City resident.

Gary Jackson, 23, of North Little Rock, Ark., was booked at 4:08 p.m. April 10 on one count each of human trafficking, pandering, promoting prostitution, money laundering and racketeering. His bonds total $170,000.

Zacchaeus Butler, a 27-year-old Little Rock resident who also has an address in the 1700 block of Arlington Avenue in Shreveport, was booked at 6:20 p.m. April 10 on one count each of human trafficking, promoting prostitution, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bonds total $151,000.

Fletcher L. Berkley, a 24-year-old Little Rock resident who also has an address in the 2600 block of Village Lane in Bossier City, was booked at 4:50 p.m. April 10 on one count each of human trafficking, promoting prostitution, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bonds total $151,000.

Keith A. Pruiett, 21, of Little Rock, was booked at 5:40 p.m. April 10 on one count each of human trafficking and promoting prostitution. His bonds total $150,000.

Antwan D. Lay, 18, of the 2600 block of Village Lane in Bossier City, was booked at 3 p.m. April 10 on a charge of letting premises for prostitution. His bond has been set at $15,000.

All of those who were arrested remained Tuesday in Bossier Maximum-Security Facility in Plain Dealing.

Agents also seized more than $400, individually packaged bags of marijuana and a marijuana grinder during the sting operation.

"Folks, it’s a tragedy when young females, barely 18 years old, in this case, are being forced into exchanging sex for money,” Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington said in a statement. 

“As sheriff of Bossier Parish, you have my commitment that our deputies will diligently investigate these types of sex crimes, arrest those engaged in this criminal activity and provide help to victims of human trafficking.”

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