AP NEWS

Washington man pleads not guilty to human trafficking

September 27, 2019 GMT

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (AP) — Washington prosecutors say a Lakewood man has pimped women while in jail and on community custody.

The News Tribune reports that 35-year-old Johnta Hammond pleaded not guilty Thursday to leading organized crime, human trafficking, money laundering, criminal conspiracy and promoting prostitution.

Authorities say Hammond was on community custody this year for a previous assault conviction.

Prosecutors say he used jail phone and video calls to make threats, tell women what to wear, what to do with the money and how much prostitution to do on a given day.

Authorities say investigators conducted several sting operations.

Hammond was booked into Pierce County Jail Wednesday and bail is set at $1 million.

Prosecutors say four others suspected of helping Hammond were also charged.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com