Teen pimp kept giving orders from inside juvenile detention, prosecutors allege

The teenage pimp made a series of mistakes — even after he was behind bars, according to Pierce County prosecutors.

Police initially arrested the 17-year-old after he overstayed the checkout time at a Tacoma motel and ended up being arrested for allegedly being a teenage girl’s pimp.

Then he tried to keep selling her from juvenile detention, prosecutors allege.

On Monday, the teen was charged with second-degree human trafficking, promoting the commercial sexual abuse of a minor and unlawful gun possession.

He pleaded not guilty at arraignment, and Superior Court Judge Kathryn Nelson set bail at $500,000.

Charging papers give this account:

Police were called to Room 204 of the Tacoma motel in November after the occupant stayed past the 11 a.m. checkout.

The officers found the teen on the bed, next to a handgun.

He ran but the officers caught and arrested him, noticing in the process that he had more than $700 in cash with him.

Later, an undercover detective met with a 16-year-old girl. After investigating, police believed the 17-year-old boy was her pimp, and that she was putting money she earned on his phone account at the Remann Hall juvenile detention center.

In phones calls detectives listened to last year between the teenagers, the 17-year-old gave the girl instructions about how he wanted her to keep prostituting herself.

On one call, she talked about another guy who wanted her to work for him, and in weighing her options, pointed out that the defendant wasn’t even 18 yet.

That made him angry, and he lied and told her he was 18.

He was at Remann Hall, he said, only because the adult jail was full.

In a phone call to a different girl, the teen said the prostitute had been making lots of money, and that he was waiting for her to raise enough to post his bail.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell