Police bust undocumented immigrants in connection with St. Roch brothel, unlicensed bar

Police bust undocumented immigrants in connection with St. Roch brothel, unlicensed bar

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "I saw a lot of activity of people in and out at odd hours," said a neighbor.

People who live along the 2500 block of North Claiborne said they recall seeing suspicious activity there, but they never really knew what was going on.

"Louisiana State Police, along with Homeland Security agents were able to determine that there was a brothel and an illegal bar that was being operated out of Orleans Parish on North Claiborne Avenue," State Police Trooper Melissa Matey said.

Troopers started investigating in August of 2015 when, during a raid, they discovered a Hispanic sex worker inside of the home.

"Troopers believe that at least 10 other female sex workers had been in and out of that brothel," Matey said.

"I mean, all of this is a surprise to me, and I pass here every day," Tony Smith said.

The alleged brothel has been shut down for about a year while State Police continued to investigate. This week, they arrested 39-year-old Roxana Flores-Rodriguez and 36-year-old Jose Jaimes-Meza. They say both are in the country without documentation.

"The previous landlord was pretty hands-off. He didn't come around much, so it was kind of a perfect place to run criminal activity," a neighbor said.

The neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said things are quiet in the neighborhood now, but that was not the case back then.

"People were coming and going at all hours. Various females were also coming and going," the neighbor said.

"Troopers and agents believe that these females were housed in that residence on North Claiborne. They also believe that they were transported in and out on a weekly basis," Matey said.

State Police said the illicit cash proceeds were used to operate the brothel and bar.

"Evidence has proved that the brothel was specifically used to service the Hispanic community in New Orleans," Matey said.

Police say the investigation is not over.

The couple has been booked with money laundering, pandering, promoting and operating a place of prostitution.

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