NOPD arrests 16 after undercover vice sting, and other crime news

NOPD arrests 16 after undercover vice sting

New Orleans police arrested 11 women and five men on prostitution and solicitation charges after a six-week undercover investigation on Chef Menteur Highway.

The investigation began in October after police received complaints from residents and business owners about an uptick in what they believed was prostitution along Chef Menteur, from Downman Road to Read Boulevard.

Arrested for prostitution were: Irene Brooker, 40; Mary Rayford, 23; Lashay Wolf, 27; Tresscel Thomas, 31; Dominique Carney, 19; Ann Wymola, 21; Jennifer Hernandez, 23; Krishaune Hines, 24; Kristina Rogers, 20; Jasmine Heidlberg, 22; and Ebonie Underwood, 23.

Johns arrested and booked with solicitation of prostitution in exchange for money were: Brian Oddo, 41; Victor Lopez, 37; Hernan Lopez, 32; Keith Brown, 27; and Mauricio Rodriguez, 31.

“This was outstanding work by the officers in the 7th District, 8th District and Vice Unit,” Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas said in a statement. “A lot of people don’t recognize how many dangerous crimes go hand in hand with prostitution. Many johns go back to motel rooms, only to have guns pulled on them and their wallets taken from them. Others have been beaten up, or even shot.

“Our officers will continue to go undercover and conduct investigations like this,” Serpas said.

Metairie man sought in Quarter robbery

A Metairie man is being sought in connection with an armed robbery in the French Quarter.

New Orleans police said that about 5 a.m. Nov. 21, the victims were inside a hotel room in the 700 block of Orleans Avenue with an unknown woman they had just met when they heard a knock on the door. The person on the other side of the door said he was a hotel security guard.

The woman opened the door and let in four to five men who began to hit the victims with guns and forced them to the floor while the men emptied the victims’ pockets.

The men and the woman took the victims’ property and ran out of the hotel, police said.

One suspect has been identified as Wendell Conrad, 27, whose last known address is in Metairie. He is wanted for armed robbery.

Anyone with information on Conrad’s whereabouts is asked to contact detective Willie Jenkins at (504) 658-6800 or wjenkins@nola.gov or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Metairie man charged with murder of fiancée

A Jefferson Parish grand jury has indicted a Metairie man for second-degree murder in the shooting death of his fiancée, who was gunned down in the street on a Saturday morning in August.

Jamaal T. Edwards, 24, of 2312 Division St. in Metairie, allegedly chased Tracy Nguyen down Division Street on Aug. 10 and shot her once in the upper body. Officials at the time said Nguyen’s mother witnessed the shooting.

Edwards is being held in the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System, and the Jefferson District Attorney’s Office is recommending bond be set at $500,000 when he returns to Jefferson Parish Prison.

He was also indicted on a count of simple criminal damage to property, stemming from a violent outburst in the back of the patrol unit when he was taken in for questioning. Edwards reportedly tried to kick out the car’s window, resulting in damage of less than $500.

The case will be heard by Judge Scott Schlegel.

Sex offenders fail to register new addresses

St. Bernard Parish investigators are looking for two convicted sex offenders who have failed to register new addresses with the Sheriff's Office.

The men are identified as Lawrence Winstead Jr., 26, who had been living in Chalmette, and John Zoller III, 35, of Violet.

Winstead, who in 2009 pleaded guilty to attempted forcible rape, separated from his wife in November and said he would be living with his mother and stepfather in Meraux, but he didn’t go there, the Sheriff's Office said.

Zoller, convicted in 2008 of indecent behavior with juveniles, has been missing since Oct. 7 when a check was made at his listed address. The home owner said Zoller had left two weeks earlier.

Anyone with information on the men’s whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501.

NOPD investigates rape of 17-year-old girl

A 17-year-old girl was raped late Wednesday or early Thursday in New Orleans, police said.

The rape happened somewhere in the 5th District, which includes Bywater, the Lower 9th Ward, and parts of Gentilly and the 7th Ward. Police did not specify a time.

According to a police log, the victim was approached by an unknown man who sexually assaulted her. No other information was available.