NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A Louisiana State Police Special Victims Unit arrested three people they say are tied to commercial sex trafficking of children in the New Orleans area.
Investigators booked Kendrick PIgott, Gregory Russell and Tiara Smothers with trafficking of children for sexual purposes.
The case came to light in September of 2016 when they say they found a 17-year-old girl who had been reported missing from from the custody of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.
Investigators say the teenager was discovered in a downtown New Orleans hotel engaging in commercial sexual activity with Smothers.
Investigators say Pigott was the ring leader of the commercial sex trafficking enterprise, while Russell helped by renting hotel rooms and providing security.
"We continue to witness our children being preyed upon by these predators," said Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent in a news release.
Edmonson urges the public to report suspicious activity and pointed out that, "Investigations that combat child sex trafficking often involve the public's assistance and by working together more children can be rescued."
State police detectives worked along with Homeland Security, New Orleans Police, the US Marshall Service and the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office on the investigation.