BISMARCK, North Dakota — A Wisconsin man accused of bringing women to North Dakota's oil patch and forcing them into prostitution has pleaded not guilty in federal court.
Levell Durr, 31, entered the plea to charges of coercion and enticement on Thursday in Bismarck. He was arrested in the city last month.
Investigators allege that Durr had been trafficking women since at least April, when police in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, reported that a woman told them Durr was holding three females against their will, according to an FBI affidavit.
The affidavit accuses Durr of using drugs and physical violence to keep the women compliant. He kept one alleged victim 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, according to the affidavit.
Durr has been assigned a public defender, who didn't return a message for comment Friday. He is scheduled for trial on Sept. 16.
KXMB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1mnpyi9 ) that authorities have confiscated three cellphones, a GPS and more than $2,400 in cash that they believe are connected with the crimes.
Information from: KXMB-TV, http://www.kxnet.com