COVINGTON (WVUE) - A North Shore bail bondsman and his adult son have been arrested on multiple state charges stemming from a human trafficking investigation led by the Louisiana State Police and FBI.
James Johnson, 53, of Bush, has been booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail for two counts of human trafficking, two counts of first-degree rape, and one count of sexual battery.
His son, Patrick Johnson, 31, was booked into the Amite Jail with three counts of possession of pornography involving juveniles.
Authorities raided Jim’s Bail Bonds in Covington on Friday morning around 8 a.m.
Neighbors said when the man they believe to be the owner of that business arrived, he was taken into custody and his car was seized.
The FBI and state police spent the day inside the business removing a number of boxes full of documents.
A nearby business owner described what he saw.
“I saw him get arrested yeah he got out of his vehicle with his hands up. He backed up like the officers asked. He didn’t give them any problems so everything went smooth,” Trey Riles said.
The investigation began in March, when detectives received information that James Johnson had solicited sexual favors from multiple victims in exchange for bond debt relief, police said.
Based on evidence, detectives executed five search warrants at various businesses and properties in Covington and Amite. Detectives seized 27 firearms from James Johnson’s residence and businesses.
While executing the search warrant at a business in Amite, investigators said they found evidence of pornography involving juveniles. The discovery lead to the arrest of Johnson’s son who is also a bail bondsman.
The investigation is on-going. Additional arrests and charges may be forthcoming.
Detectives believe that there is potential for additional unreported victims. Anyone with any information pertaining to this case is encouraged to contact the Louisiana State Police Special Victims Unit at 504-310-7000.