Public Defender's office to defend human trafficking suspects

By Nancy Cook |

Published 06/11 2014 07:06PM

Updated 06/11 2014 07:10PM

The Natchitoches Parish Public Defender’s office has been appointed to represent the three people arrested last week on human trafficking charges.


Brett Brunson, attorney who heads up the Natchitoches Parish Pubic Defender’s office, said his office has been appointed to represent the three people arrested in Natchitoches Parish last week and charged with human trafficking.


David Rodriquez Jr., 37, and Christina Marie Harper, 39, both of the 500 block of Dick Anderson Road, Pleasant Hill, La. and Ambre Tubbs Lomas, 39, of the 6700 block of Jefferson Paige in Shreveport were all booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center Wednesday.


The arrests were a culmination of a joint investigation by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s Offices and the Louisiana State Police, after a Robeline assistant City Marshal called the Sheriff’s office and reported he had come in contact with a female attached to a logging chain and a bucket at a business near the Intersections of Interstate-49 and University Parkway (La. Hwy 6 West) near Natchitoches.


The victim claimed she had been held captive, chained outside and inside a building against her will for several days. She told authorities she was given a list of daily chores to complete that included serving meals, drinks, taking care of animals, leveling dirt for a swimming pool, installing a swimming pool, digging trenches, removal of fallen trees and performing sexual acts.


She said if she failed to perform any assigned duties, she was subjected to beatings and discipline by the defendants. In addition to beatings she said they carved initials into undisclosed areas of her body, tazed her and threw urine on her.


However, Brunson said he hasn’t seen any of the discovery (evidence against the defendants), other than the information used to obtain a warrant and the news release. Rodriquez remains in the Natchitoches Detention Center on $635,000 bond, but the two women have been transferred to Avoyelles Parish, as Natchitoches Detention Center does not have a women’s facility. Harper is being held there on $635,000 bond and Lomis is being held on a $525,000 bond.


It is unclear whether the trio will be arraigned on a bill of information, or if a grand jury will look at the evidence for a possible indictment.

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