Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
UPDATE (12/13/2022) (KTVE/KARD) — On December 13, 2022, deputies of the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed that they made the seventh arrest in the Vidalia human trafficking investigation. Their latest arrest was 50-year-old Shelton Rice.
According to deputies, they initiated an investigation into reports of an adult subject who possibly engaged in illegal activity with multiple minors over a period of time. Based on the evidence recovered during the initial investigation, a suspect was identified, along with multiple juvenile victims.
Detectives went on to obtain evidence of juveniles being supplied with narcotic substances that included methamphetamine and fentanyl, which were transported in Concordia Parish, La. and Adams County, Miss. Adult subjects also allegedly engaged in sexual activity with minors.
As the investigation progressed, additional suspects were identified through interviews as well as digital evidence, which revealed a connection between numerous individuals involved in the activity. According to detectives, they were able to establish the following facts relative to the case, at which time arrests were made accordingly:
- Minors in the custody of adults were introduced to a subject engaged in the sale of narcotics, by their guardians.
- Said minors were provided with narcotics by both the subject, as well as the guardians, who engaged in the use with them.
- As a result of the activity, the minors were subjected to sexual abuse by adults while under the influence of substances.
- At no time did the adult subjects charged with the custody attempt to stop or prevent such activity, they instead filmed it.
- Evidence was obtained that revealed one subject offer another the opportunity to engage in sex with a sleeping minor, in return for methamphetamine.
- Numerous adult victims were also identified that were exploited for sexual purposes in return for narcotics, one of which attempted numerous times to escape such activity over the course of several years.
- CPSO has worked closely with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and additional charges are likely, regarding suspects in Mississippi.
As a result of the investigation, deputies arrested 45-year-old Quentin Smith, 38-year-old Eddie Hollway, 36-year-old Jessica Robinson, 70-year-old Jeanette Ratcliff, 42-year-old Jerry Brownwell, 48-year-old George Rice, and 50-year-old Shelton Rice.
UPDATE (11/22/2022) (KTVE/KARD) — On November 22, 2022, the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office announced that they made a sixth arrest in the Vidalia Human Trafficking investigation that involved minors in the area. According to deputies, 36-year-old Jessica Robinson was arrested by officials and charged with two counts of Principal to Cruelty to Juveniles and Principal to Human Trafficking.
The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information regarding the investigation is urged to contact Detective Stephen Lipscomb at (318) 336-5231 or submit a tip online using the CPSO mobile app.
UPDATE (11/17/2022) (KTVE/KARD) — On Thursday, November 17, 2022, deputies of the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office announced they made three additional arrest in the Vidalia Human Trafficking investigation. According to deputies, they arrested 48-year-old George A. Rice, 42-year-old Jerry W. Brownwell, and 70-year-old Jeanette Ratcliff.
The three suspects were each charged with Principal to Human Trafficking, Principal to Cruelty to Juveniles, and Principal to Attempted Sexual Battery. Anyone with information regarding the investigation is urged to contact Detective Stephen Lipscomb at (318) 336-5231 or submit a tip online using the CPSO mobile app.
UPDATE (11/11/2022) (KTVE/KARD) — On Friday, November 11, 2022, the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office announced they have made a second arrest in their human trafficking investigation. According to officials, they recovered additional evidence in their investigation and identified 38-year-old Eddie L. Holloway as a suspect who allegedly participated in transporting victims and narcotics to locations.
Holloway was arrested and charged with Principal to Human Trafficking, Principal to Second-Degree Rape, and two counts of Principal to Cruelty to Juveniles.
VIDALIA, La. (KTVE/KARD) — On October 24, 2022, the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into reports of an adult male who allegedly engaged in illegal activity with multiple minors. Based on evidence recovered during the investigation, deputies identified the suspect as 45-year-old Quentin M. Smith of Vidalia, La.
According to officials, juveniles were supplied with methamphetamine and fentanyl, being transported to locations in Concordia Parish, La. and Adams County, Miss. where adults engaged in sexual intercourse with unconscious victims in a “trap house.”
After authorities obtained an arrest warrant, Smith was captured in Fayette, Miss., and taken into custody with the assistance of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.
Smith was charged with Human Trafficking, Second-Degree Rape, two counts of Cruelty to Juveniles, and Attempted Sexual Battery. The matter remains under investigation with additional arrests to be made.
If anyone has information about Smith and the investigation, be sure to call detectives at 318-336-5231