HOUMA — Police say 16 men were arrested at a Houma hotel over the weekend after police allegedly linked them to contacting a prostitute through a website.
Police arrested nine men March 8 and seven men March 9 after each man gave a woman money for sexual favors.
Police say the sting targeted men who contacted the woman through www.backpage.com, which has a section labeled “adult” with categories including escorts, strippers and adult jobs.
After this weekend’s operation, Houma detectives learned about other websites that connect people with prostitutes.
St. Charles west bank levee gets final approval
HAHNVILLE — The Army Corps of Engineers has approved the third and final phase of the St. Charles west bank hurricane levee, which means all three phases of the levee project have corps approval to move toward construction.
At the St. Charles Parish Council meeting on Monday night, Parish President V.J. St. Pierre said the Corps of Engineers approved a permit green-lighting the design and construction of Phase III Ellington, the last permit necessary to authorize the project. The other two phases had already been approved.
The proposed levee will be about 10 miles long. The Ellington phase will connect a previously completed section of the levee between the Paradis Canal and Boutte.
The west bank hurricane protection levee will cost roughly $150 million.
Sen. Landrieu introduces adoption documentary
NEW ORLEANS — U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is promoting a documentary about international adoption.
The Louisiana Democrat is the mother of two adopted children and the wife of a man adopted from overseas. She says many American families are willing to open their hearts and homes to children needing families all over the world, but the international adoption system “is broken and failing.”
Landrieu introduced the film titled “Stuck” in the New Orleans suburb of Harahan on Monday night. She says it’s about overseas children who are “stuck in orphanages, stuck in a system that doesn’t work.”
2 men arrested for possession of marijuana
BROUSSARD — Police say two men were arrested in Broussard on Monday for possession of more than 100 grams of marijuana.
Police Chief Brannon Decou said officers were conducting an investigation regarding a residential burglary that occurred a week ago when they discovered 101 grams of hydroponic marijuana, a fully-loaded high-powered AR-15 assault rifle, a loaded Sig Sauer .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun and other drug paraphernalia.
Decou says Richard Westley and Daniel Bebernes were taken into custody without incident.
Westley was booked with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, while Bebernes was charged with simple possession. But both men were also booked with possession of a firearm in the presence of narcotics, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
4 Lafayette teachers launch Facebook page
LAFAYETTE — A group of Lafayette teachers calling themselves the “Fearless Foursome” launched a Facebook page to spark continued discussion about education issues.
Abby Breaux, Andrea Thibodeaux, Linda Rhoads and Jennifer Guillory started the page “Teachers Standing for Solutions” over the weekend. By late Monday afternoon, the page had more than 1,000 “likes.”
Guillory said her children encouraged her to start the page after she and the other teachers spoke out last week about the challenges of education. Their concerns include the district’s discipline system, a large amount of standardized tests and the state’s teacher evaluation system.
Guillory emphasized that the group wants the page to serve as a point for a discussion on solutions, rather than focusing solely on problems.
Police say Facebook, free cakes used to lure teen
SLIDELL — Slidell police say a 41-year-old man allegedly used a bakery Facebook page and free cakes to lure a 15-year-old girl into a sexual relationship, and now they’re asking local parents to check and see if he is among their children’s Facebook friends.
Wilmer Segue of Slidell is being held on charges of stalking and seven counts of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, Detective Daniel Seuzeneau said Monday. Segue’s bond is set at $175,000.
Seuzeneau, a police spokesman, said Segue apparently sold home-baked pastries and also used them to gain the girl’s confidence.
“He offered her free pastries and a birthday cake and things like that. Kind of built a trust,” Seuzeneau said in an interview.
He said “J’s Cakes N More” became Facebook friends with the 15-year-old in January. She and Segue met in person after several online conversations and eventually began a sexual relationship, he said.
Slidell police fear that there may be more victims and ask parents to check their children’s Facebook account for a friend by the name of ‘J’s Cakes N More,’” apolice news release said. If they find it, they’re asked to contact Detective Brian Brown at 985-646-4362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guilty plea planned
in bid-rigging scheme
NEW ORLEANS — Attorney Brian Capitelli says a former purchasing director for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office will plead guilty in a bid-rigging scheme.
Capitelli and his client, John Sens, said nothing else as they left federal court Monday. Sens had just entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery. He is scheduled for re-arraignment on Wednesday.
Separate bills of information against Sens and Gerard Hoffman alleged that both took bribes in a bid-rigging scheme for maintenance, construction and electrical contracts for the Sheriff’s Office.
Hoffman, a colonel in charge of the maintenance department. resigned in July, the month after the federal investigation began. Sens, a deputy, resigned in February, the week before the bill of information was filed. He had been purchasing director for Sheriff Marlin Gusman until last June, when he was assigned other duties while under investigation.
Man admits making threats during rapper’s trial
BATON ROUGE — A 22-year-old Baker man has pleaded guilty to threatening to shoot the East Baton Rouge Parish district attorney and shoot up the courthouse during last year’s trial of rapper Torence “Lil Boosie” Hatch.
Dedrick Deandre Green pleaded guilty on Monday to public intimidation and is to be sentenced June 21.
He was accused of threatening on Twitter to shoot District Attorney Hillar Moore outside the court where Hatch was on trial May 5. He also wrote that Hatch should be freed before Green shot the “court house up.” He was arrested two days later, in the courtroom during the trial.
Hatch was charged with murder but was acquitted.
An affidavit of probable cause says Green admitted the tweets but said he was just “fooling around.”
Judge: 1st-degree murder charge stands
BATON ROUGE — A state district judge has refused to throw out a first-degree murder charge against a man accused of acting as a rapper’s hit-man.
Michael Louding is scheduled for trial March 18 in the death of Terry Boyd.
Rapper Torence “Lil Boosie” Hatch was found innocent last year of paying Louding to kill Boyd.
Attorney Margaret Lagattuta contends the indictment is invalid because states cannot automatically impose life sentences without parole on juveniles in murder cases.
Louding cannot be sentenced to death because he was 17 when Boyd was killed. The only other possible sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison.
seeks new enrollment
BATON ROUGE — Southern University is banking on identifying students who represent the best fit for the campus, improving student services and waiving some out-of-state student fees to get it close to its goal of recruiting 1,000 students next year.
Southern’s Baton Rouge enrollment has dipped from nearly 9,500 students to about 6,600 students over the past several years in part because of the state-required tougher admission standards phased-in seven years ago.
At the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday, Al Tezeno, Southern’s associate vice chancellor for student success, says plans call for increased outreach to high schools for recruiting and beefed-up online services.
From The Associated Press.