5 French Quarter strip clubs busted for prostitution and drugs, lose alcohol …

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 Bourbon Street-area strip clubs, bars’ alcohol permits suspended on drug, prostitution violations.

Five Bourbon Street-area strip clubs and bars had their alcohol permits temporarily pulled after a month-long undercover investigation found drug and prostitution violations, state authorities announced Tuesday (Oct. 27).Five French Quarter strip clubs have had their liquor licenses suspended after a state investigation uncovered dozens of instances of drug activity, prostitution and “lewd and immoral acts” in the last month alone, authorities said Tuesday. “The French Quarter should not be known as one-stop shopping for criminal activity,” said Troy Hebert, commissioner of the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. “You pretty much walk into these places and you got whatever you needed … marijuana, cocaine, sex.” Hebert and Louisiana State Police Col.NEW ORLEANS –The world famous New Orleans French Quarter may have the reputation of being an adult playground, but according to Louisiana Alcohol Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert, that doesn’t mean anything goes on Bourbon Street. “You wanted drugs, you wanted marijuana, you wanted cocaine, you wanted sex, you wanted any of those things, and it was one-stop shopping at some of these places,” Hebert said. “This is not just about topless women walking around. Asked what differentiates unacceptable lewd behavior from the kind of activity allowed in strip clubs, Hebert noted there are still rules in the clubs, starting with the fact that the dancers are supposed to be only topless. “There was … a lot of touching going on — inappropriate touching — things that are clearly a violation of the law,” he said. “In these particular cases, they cross the line many, many times.” Edmonson said State Police will pursue their own investigation based on the findings the ATC has submitted, but he cautioned that law enforcement has a higher threshold of proof when it comes to making arrests.

In the seven months that State Police have been patrolling in the Quarter, he said, officers have seized 125 weapons off the streets and made 1,400 arrests — 533 of them for drugs with an estimated street value of $1.3 million. It is owned by Platinum Bourbon Inc. • The Mansion on Bourbon, 416 Bourbon St. on six counts of prostitution, two drug-related violations and five counts of lewd/improper acts.

A man who identified himself as Ernie, reached at an Ohio-area number listed for Chez Joey, said he had no comment but added the club was still “looking into everything” themselves. Hebert said the clubs have the right to ask the courts to issue a stay to block the revocations until the hearing on their license, but that is out of the ATC’s control. Mike Edmonson said authorities are pursuing criminal charges against the five named venues and others, but the agency is still working to build those cases. “If something bad happens in those (clubs) and we have been sitting on this information, we’d be responsible,” Hebert explained. The investigation began the New Orleans Police Department’s 8th District, which includes the French Quarter, forwarded tips of violations to State Police.

The owners of the suspended clubs will face an administrative hearing regarding the suspensions within about a month, Hebert said, at which time they can dispute the violations.

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