Jerald Bland Plead Guilty in Houston Federal Court to One Count of Transportation

January 4, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 3, 2012 released the following:

“Houston Man Enters Guilty Plea to Transporting a Woman for Commercial Sex

HOUSTON— Jerald Bland aka “Moe Betta,” 30, of Houston, has pleaded guilty to one count of transportation, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

Bland admitted to transporting a woman to Louisiana intending that she engage in prostitution. An investigation by the Houston FBI Innocence Lost Task Force, which includes the Houston Police Department, developed this case using on line advertisements for the victim’s services and hotel records from several hotels in Louisiana.

On March 8, 2010, Houston Police Department officers conducted an undercover operation which resulted in the apprehension of Bland and the identification of the female victim. At that time, a silver Sony HDX Camera was discovered along with pictures of females in sexually provocative poses and photos of Bland flashing money. According to the factual basis in support of the guilty plea today, between May 26 and June 7, 2010, Bland transported the female victim to Beaumont, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La. While out of town, ads were posted for sexual services on the Internet which were discovered by investigating officers and corresponded to the dates of the hotel reservations where they stayed.

Several employees from the hotels involved recognized Bland and the victim as being at the hotels. At one location, the business center was used to post Internet ads for prostitution which was discovered by an employee.

Bland kept all the money the woman earned in relation to the sexual services performed.

U.S. Judge Nancy F. Atlas, who accepted the guilty plea today, set sentencing for March 20, 2012, at which time Bland faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Bland also faces a maximum lifetime term of supervised release. He will remain in custody pending his sentencing hearing.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sherri L. Zack.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Houston Man Charged with Sex Trafficking

October 7, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 6, 2011 released the following:

“HOUSTON— A federal grand jury has charged 30-year-old Jerald Bland, aka “Moe Betta,” with sex trafficking of two minors and one adult, as well as transporting one adult and one minor for the purposes of prostitution, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

The five-count indictment returned by the grand jury today, alleges that beginning in March 2010 through June 2010, Bland used force, fraud, or coercion to cause two minors and one adult female to engage in commercial sex acts. Bland is also accused of transporting one minor and one adult female from Texas to Louisiana to engage in prostitution in violation of federal statutes.

The United States has sought a court order to transfer Bland from state custody into federal custody to face the charges and appear for arraignment on a date to be set by the court.

Each of the three counts accusing Bland of sex trafficking carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 upon conviction. Depending on whether a jury were to find that the victims were minors or that he used force, fraud, or coercion, Bland would face minimum mandatory sentences of 10 to 15 years on the sex trafficking charges. The transportation charge relating to the adult victim carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison. The transportation of a minor charge carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison with a maximum of life in prison. Each of those charges also carries a $250,000 fine. If convicted, upon release from any prison sentence Bland would be subject to at least five years of supervised release in which the court would require the defendant conform to certain requirements based on the nature of the charges. The defendant could be on supervised release for life, and if convicted, the defendant would have to register as a sex offender.

This investigation leading to the federal charges was conducted by the Houston FBI Innocence Lost Task Force in conjunction with Houston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Zack is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty by due process of law.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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