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.