Authorities search for man in human trafficking case

Emmanuel Bailey
Emmanuel Bailey

An alleged pimp accused of trafficking at least two women, and possibly several others, to Baton Rouge from out of state for prostitution has gone underground after a woman revealed his operation to authorities during a recent prostitution sting.

Sgt. Nick Manale, a State Police spokesman, said Tuesday that law enforcement agencies are scouring the area for Emmanuel Bailey, 21, of Fort Smith, Ark., who is wanted on counts of human trafficking.

“Trafficking and the exploitation of individuals is a worldwide phenomenon requiring an urgent and effective response,” East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said. “We will seek out the exploiters and bring them to justice.”

Bailey could be laying low in Baton Rouge but could have fled to other parts of the state or Arkansas, Manale said.

“This is not a one-time criminal act,” Manale said.

Detectives with the multi-agency Special Victims Unit, headed by State Police, learned of Bailey’s activities after arresting a woman at a Bluebonnet Boulevard hotel on March 27 during a sting targeting online prostitution through websites, according to court records.

They contacted the woman through a phone number listed on a website and agreed to meet at the Bluebonnet hotel, record show. Detectives rushed in and arrested her on prostitution after she and the undercover agent agreed on a price for sex, only to learn she had been brought to Louisiana by Bailey for prostitution.

Manale said it is possible that investigators decline to arrest the woman who tipped them off to Bailey’s operation if they find she truly is a trafficking victim.

The woman said Bailey forced her and another woman to prostitute in Kansas using Backpage.com the week before, a claim detectives verified by finding her ads on the website.

After the arrest, East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies located in the parking lot the vehicle the victim said dropped her off at the hotel, records show. Inside the vehicle, they found the 17-year-old girl they believe is also a trafficking victim and a woman identified in the records only as “JT.”

She has a tattoo of Bailey’s name on her back and is believed to be Bailey’s handler and recruiter, records show.

Detectives also found several Arkansas IDs for the victim, “JT” and Bailey under the name of Jermaine Lyons, records show.

The victim told detectives Bailey takes all her earnings — the victim was paid $620 for three dates the day before her arrest, but had to turn it all over to Bailey, who has threatened to beat her if she does not follow his instructions or prostitute for him, the records show.

“The victim stated that she was afraid to leave ... due to him knowing where her family lives and that her family’s home has been hit numerous times by gunfire by an unknown person whom she believes is affiliated with the defendant,” State Police investigator Amy Juneau wrote in an arrest warrant for Bailey.

Manale said Bailey has a violent criminal history, including violent crime arrests.

The victim told detectives she had been staying in Room 523 at the Chase Suites hotel on Corporate Boulevard where Bailey and a woman named Ashley Greene were when the trio drove to the Bluebonnet Hotel for the meeting with the undercover trooper.

Anyone with information on Bailey’s location is asked to contact State Police or their local law enforcement agency.