ATC: We're not trying to turn Quarter into Disney World

ATC: We're not trying to turn Quarter into Disney World

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It's an effort the state is making clear to French Quarter businesses owners: Clean up what goes on inside your doors or get swept out.

"Pretty much the lid is off of this thing," Alcohol Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert said.

In just a few weeks, undercover ATC agents say they were able to buy drugs with ease at two Bourbon Street bars and pay for drugs and sex at seven different strip clubs.

"Literally our operatives walked into clubs and they could pretty much get any type of drug they wanted, any type of sex they wanted," Hebert said. "I'm not going to be foolish. We are not trying to turn the French Quarter into Disney World, but I can tell you, if it continues to be the wild-wild west, it will hurt Bourbon Street. It will hurt the French Quarter. It will hurt New Orleans, and it will hurt Louisiana."

The state is focusing a lot of time, money and manpower in the French Quarter after crime started to increase in the tourist hot spot.

For months, state troopers have been a visual deterrent for crime. Now, undercover ATC agents are making their presence felt, especially on Bourbon Street.

"It is somewhat concerning, although we receive a lot of support. It's amazing how many people have become complacent and made comments [like] 'Well that's the French Quarter. That's Bourbon Street. That's what is suppose to go on.'"

Owners from the nine strip clubs and bars met with ATC on Monday. The agency will make a ruling Tuesday on the status of their suspended licenses.

Hebert said owners stated they had fired all of the employees mentioned in the investigation.

"This is an ongoing investigation, and we do have other businesses in our sights. When we reach a certain level, we are going to make that announcement," Hebert said.

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