November 1, 2023

DA Williams Announces Shut-down of Local Establishment, known as an Epicenter for criminal activity since the 1980’s

NEW ORLEANS, LA — On Monday of this week, The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office provided a public update on its next steps building on the success of “Operation Big Easy”, a sweeping multi-jurisdictional enforcement operation focused on weapons and narcotics in the region. “Operation Big Easy” made momentous strides in disrupting organized crime, resulting in 41 indictments and the confiscation of over 70 firearms.

The DA’s office has successfully shuttered a problematic business establishment that has long been associated with criminal activity. DA’s office has shut down 1201 Bienville St., also known as the New Image Market and the prior proprietor has been mandated to renounce all claims to the property.

District Attorney Williams emphasized the methodical strategy behind the effort, stating, “This is ‘chess, not checkers’. This operation was a checkmate in a single board-clearing move. It took out Kings, Knights, Bishops, and Rooks at one time. This is what being progressive looks like. Being smart on crime, by not only making key arrests that will be aggressively prosecuted but also going after and targeting the sites and hubs for criminal activity. This is truly crime prevention, which leads to our ultimate goal of creating a safer city.”

One former NOPD officer said that the location has been a hotbed of criminal activity since 1982, when he was assigned to the area and the site had never relented until now.

Rep. Alonzo Knox pictured speaking

Representative Alonzo Knox, a business owner and state legislator, remarked, “As a business owner and state representative for District 93, it can’t be overstated how pleased I am with the coordinated efforts of federal,

state, and local law enforcement to reclaim our community and ensure the safety and well-being of all residents and visitors. I especially want to thank District Attorney Jason Williams and his team. We stand united on behalf of all parents and grandparents who have suffered the loss of their loved ones. Our message is clear: we will not tolerate these actions that jeopardize the safety of our communities.”

Councilman Freddie King III, Council District C, echoed the sentiments, saying, “Operation Big Easy is a prime example of what can be achieved when federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies unite for a common goal. I am profoundly grateful for the hard work and dedication of all involved, and I am committed to continuing our collaborative efforts to create a safer, more just New Orleans.”

Councilman Green added, “It is good to see District Attorney Williams working with various law enforcement agencies to close a business that was a pariah in the Iberville community. These tools will be utilized more often to make our city a safer one for children and adults alike.”

In a heartfelt statement, a local business and community leader expressed, “We believe in our Iberville community. We believe in our neighborhood, and we believe in positive change.

This business has long disrupted the peace and safety of our community. The closure of this problem establishment will allow innocent children to be safer on their way to school or play.

We believe this enforcement means that hard-working hospitality workers will be able to safely park or stand on the corner and take the bus to and from work. We believe unassuming tourists on a walking tour can experience a safer New Orleans with the closure of this store.

We know change is hard, but it is absolutely necessary to manifest next level progress. We encourage our neighbors, friends, family, and fellow citizens to embrace this change, even if it is initially a bit uncomfortable, in order for it to lead us all to a portal of meaningful positivity.”

The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office remains resolute in its mission to protect its community and pledges to double down on its rigorous stance against criminal enterprises. Recognizing that law enforcement simply cannot always change the reality in our neighborhoods with just prosecutions and arrests, the DA’s office worked to strategically target the sources and places of criminality with precision, utilizing data and intelligence in order to successfully shutter a problematic business establishment that has had this community in a choke hold since the ’80s.

I am very thankful to Chief of Screening Andre Gaudin and Director of Asset Forfeiture Blaise De Antonio, the folks in my office who bird dogged this operation and engaged in some creative outside the box critical thinking to make this neighborhood safer.

(pictured back left and right of DA Williams)