BISMARCK, N.D. — A Wisconsin man is accused of bringing women to North Dakota against their will to engage in prostitution in the state's western oil patch.
Levell Durr, 31, was charged Friday in U.S. District Court in Bismarck with transportation for illegal sexual activity. Magistrate Judge Charles Miller appointed him a public defender Monday and scheduled him held until a detention hearing on Thursday.
Neil Fulton, head of the public defender's office for the Dakotas, declined to comment Tuesday, saying he is not familiar with details of the case.
An affidavit by FBI Special Agent Bruce Bennett says Durr has been trafficking females since at least April, when police in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, reported that a woman had told them Durr was holding three girls against their will.
The affidavit accuses Durr of using drugs and physical violence to keep the females compliant. It says that at one point he kept a girl in a dog kennel for days for breaking one of his rules. The women were not allowed to maintain eye contact with men and were told to kiss Durr's hand when they turned over money to him.
"Durr had kennels in the Milwaukee area because he maintained pit bulls for dog fighting," Bennett wrote.
Police arrested Durr in Bismarck on Friday and booked him into the Burleigh County Jail, according to jail records.
Authorities believe Durr kept an apartment in Minot, according to Bennett's affidavit. An acquaintance of Durr who was arrested earlier this month in that city, Anquentin Holliman, of Milwaukee, faces a misdemeanor charge in North Dakota state court for allegedly being dishonest with investigators. Court documents do not list an attorney for him and telephone listings for him in Milwaukee have been disconnected. He is due back in court on Aug. 20 for a pretrial conference.