Judge denies Iowa jail transfer for suspected pimp


June 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A judge says a suspected pimp charged with running a nationwide sex trafficking ring will continue to be jailed in Council Bluffs despite claims that he’s being harassed by other inmates. Johnelle Bell’s attorney had requested that his client be transferred to a jail in Des Moines, saying he’s being “subjected to threats and other abuse” from inmates who learned about the nature of charges against him.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Celeste Bremer rejected the request after a hearing Tuesday. She says the U.S. Marshals Service is taking steps to address the security issues that Bell raised. Bell is being detained while he awaits trial on charges that he ran a sex trafficking ring that used Backpage.com to lure customers to pay for sex with prostitutes as young as age 17.