Commercial sex in Beaumont among Houston man’s offenses
Jerald Bland, aka “Moe Betta,” 30, of Houston, was sentenced to more than nine years in federal prison for transporting a woman to Beaumont and Louisiana for commercial sex, Thursday, Aug. 16, in a Houston federal court. Bland pleaded guilty to the charges Jan. 3 of this year.
In handing down the sentence, U.S. Judge Nancy F. Atlas noted that Bland has an “incredible number of convictions … for someone his age.” She then handed him a 110-month prison term, which will be followed by 10 years of supervised release. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Bland admitted to transporting a woman prosecutors call a victim to Louisiana intending she engage in prostitution. An investigation by the Houston FBI Innocence Lost Task Force developed this case using online advertisements for the woman’s services and hotel records from several hotels in Louisiana. According to court records, between May 26 and June 7, 2010, Bland transported the female to Beaumont, Texas; and Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans, Louisiana. 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 Bland and the woman stayed. Bland was initially charged with using coercion, force or intimidation to compel the woman into committing the sex acts. Court records contend Bland then kept all the money earned from the sex solicitation.
Bland has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.