Federal partnership nets human trafficking arrests as Mardi Gras season begins

Federal partnership nets human trafficking arrests as Mardi Gras season begins
Two human trafficking arrests were made in Jefferson Parish as Mardi Gras approached. (Source: JPSO)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Thousands of revelers are in New Orleans for the first big weekend of Mardi Gras season. And this year, some will see something different when it comes to carnival safety.

The mayor said the city is expecting 1.4 million visitors to New Orleans over this Carnival season, and for the first time ever local law enforcement will have federal support. Homeland security investigators said that partnership resulted in two human trafficking victims being rescued Thursday night from a hotel near Lafraniere Park.

They were in town from Texas for Mardi Gras.

One of those victims was a juvenile, officers said. Two people were arrested and are now in the custody of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The reason that federal partnership is happening this year is because the federal special event assessment rating was increased to 2. For perspective, an event like the Super Bowl has a 1 rating.

New regulations will also go into effect this year. Box trucks or large enclosed vehicles cannot park within two blocks of a parade route more than four hours before a parade. That rule also will apply to ladders and coolers - you can’t put them down on the route more than four hours before a parade.

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