Police shut down Pascagoula sports bar after drug raid

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula police say drugs and prostitution are rampant at Rooster's Sports Bar and Laundromat, and that's why they're shutting it down.

The people at Roosters were shocked Thursday to see law enforcement agencies and the Jackson County District Attorney walk in and raid the place.

"This place will be shut down as of today due to the numerous criminal activities that we have discovered ongoing here," District Attorney Tony Lawrence said.

A Chancery Court judge granted Lawrence's request to temporarily close the bar, which the D.A. feels has become a breeding ground for problems.

"We went back and just looked at the Pascagoula Police Department's reports, and they have responded over 450 times at this establishment in the last four years," Lawrence said.

"You have people being robbed and being assaulted, that are dealing drugs, that are dealing prostitution freely from the bar," Narcotics Task Force Commander Curtis Spiers said.

Spiers said there was even a special room inside the bar where prostitution was allegedly taking place regularly.

"It is a nuisance," Spiers said.

Spiers said two bar employees were arrested for selling drugs at the business when this undercover drug roundup began two months ago. Thursday, police arrested the bartender, Marie Ladnier, for possession of the prescription drug Lortab.

As this investigation continues, the district attorney said residents should expect to see more closed signs being placed at businesses all across Jackson County.  He feels it's time for businesses to be held accountable for participating in criminal activity.

Pascagoula Police Chief Eddie Stewart said Thursday's raid sends a clear message that officers and county officials will clean up the streets.

"I think it is going to help with this particular area very much," Stewart said.

Rooster's Sports Bar and Laundromat is owned by Francis Williams. Three of her employees have been arrested at the bar as a result of Operation Moon Burn. This is the second business shut down in the past few months. The K&A Convenience Store in Gautier was shutdown after authorities arrested the owner's sons for allegedly selling drugs at the businesses.

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