- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A man accused of illegally transporting people from Wyoming to the North Dakota oil patch for purposes of engaging in prostitution has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.

Garrell James pleaded guilty in October to three of the five federal charges against him, including travel to engage in prostitution and prohibited person in charge of a firearm.

James was apprehended at a Dickinson hotel last March.

Public defenders say James received a portion of the proceeds for arranging sexual encounters and providing protection to the victims, but did not force the victims into it. The lawyers say James believed he was helping the victims by shielding them.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland sentenced James to 41 months in prison and five years of supervised release.

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