Bail set at $350,000
OAKLAND, Calif. — According to court records, an Oakland man was charged with trafficking a teen girl after they met on social media just weeks before his 22nd birthday.
Jeremiah Means, 21, was charged on August 28 with human trafficking, pimping a minor, and encouraging pandering. According to jail records, he also faces unrelated charges of brandishing a weapon.
The investigation began on July 26, when Oakland police were called to a home on Holly Street for a report of a runaway teen human trafficking victim. They made contact with the girl and arrested Means in the house’s backyard. According to court records, he was detained, released, and re-arrested on August 24 in anticipation of the charges being filed.
According to police, Means met the girl on Instagram and traveled outside of the Bay Area to pick her up and return her to Oakland.
Investigators discovered text messages between the two during the investigation that “clearly show a pimp and prostitute relationship,” Oakland police Detective Michael Ow wrote in court papers.
“In the messages, (Means) is controlling (the girl) and telling her she needs to work as a prostitute,” Ow wrote.
The bail for Means has been set at $350,000. Judge James Cramer denied a defense motion to release him during his first court appearance. His next court date is set for Sept. 8, with a preliminary hearing three days later, according to court records.
Means has entered a not guilty plea.