Drug dealing, gambling and human trafficking linked to Rose City business, Sheriff’s Office says

Published 11:05 am Friday, April 22, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

ROSE CITY — Police have publicly linked Gateway Travel Plaza in Rose City to organized criminal activity, citing a raid this week as evidence of law enforcement’s effort to shut down the operations.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the travel plaza was being utilized for drug distribution, illegal gambling and human trafficking.

Police said a search warrant was obtained after a “lengthy investigation into this establishment.”

A Sheriff’s Office officer works the scene at Gateway Travel Plaza.

Detectives with the sheriff’s office narcotics division received assistance Wednesday from the Orange County Criminal Investigations Division, Patrol and K-9 Divisions and Rose City Marshal’s Office in executing the search warrant.

“Detectives were able to gather more evidence to further their investigation into multiple participants and suspects involved with organized criminal activity surrounding this business,” a Sheriff’s Office release said.

“Detectives seized a large amount of U.S. currency, computers, video recording equipment and documents that will be used as evidence in this case.”

Deputies located several people inside the game room, and they were cited for illegal gambling.

Two wanted fugitives from Louisiana, who were employees living upstairs in the motel portion, were also arrested.

Edith Mercer

They include:

  • Frank Allen – wanted out of St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office
  • Edith Mercer – wanted out of Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office offered thanks to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and Rose City Marshall’s Office for assistance.

More charges could be filed.

Frank Allen