8 arrested in BR prostitution sting

Baton Rouge police arrested eight people Tuesday morning in a prostitution sting downtown and in north Baton Rouge.

Of the eight people arrested, five had previously been arrested on prostitution counts, according to the affidavits of probable cause.

Officers arrested the five women and three men between 4:45 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.

Seven of them were seen flagging down vehicles and entering unmarked police units with undercover officers, where they solicited sex for money, affidavits say.

Another person was seen supervising prostitutes and observing a negotiation between a prostitute and an undercover officer, an affidavit says.

Levi Jackson, the man officers said supervised the prostitutes, ran when uniformed officers approached him and took an “aggressive stance” when officers caught up to him at a ditch, the affidavit says.

The officers shot Jackson with a stun gun after he failed to comply with their commands to put his hands behind his back, the affidavit says.

Jackson, of 12072 Central Park, Geismar, was booked with promoting prostitution and resisting an officer.

The other seven people arrested are:

  • Melissa Wallis, 30, 153 Betty Ave., LaPlace, third-offense prostitution.
  • Dwan Valdery, 24, 3579 Victoria Drive, No. 6, Baton Rouge, prostitution.
  • Gloria Simmons, 45, 2850 Iroquois St., Baton Rouge, prostitution, possession of drug paraphernalia and entering contraband into a penal institution.
  • Deonna Quinn, 31, 1835 N. 18th St., Baton Rouge, second-offense prostitution.
  • Yvette Pollard, 22, 1167 Stan Ave., Baton Rouge, second-offense prostitution.
  • Joseph Mars, 43, 1814 Bay St., Baton Rouge, third-offense prostitution.
  • Angela Dunbar, 36, 5252 Clairmont Drive, Baton Rouge, third-offense prostitution.

Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a police spokesman, said prostitution stings occur periodically on the streets or in hotel rooms and can originate from either residents’ complaints or detectives observing a high concentration of prostitutes in one area.