Oakland man charged with human trafficking of girl he met on Instagram

Oakland man charged with human trafficking of girl he met on Instagram

OAKLAND — Weeks before his 22nd birthday, an Oakland man has been charged with trafficking a teen girl after they met on social media, according to court records.

Jeremiah Means, 21, was charged Aug. 28 with human trafficking of a minor, pimping a minor and pandering by encouraging. He also faces unrelated charges of brandishing a weapon, according to jail records.

The investigation started on July 26, when Oakland police were called to a residence on Holly Street for a report that a runaway teen human trafficking victim was staying there. They made contact with the girl and arrested Means in the backyard of the residence. He was detained, released and re-arrested Aug. 24, in anticipation of the charges being filed, records show.

Police say Means met the girl on Instagram and traveled outside of the Bay Area to pick her up and bring her back to Oakland.

During the investigation, investigators uncovered text messages between the two 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 to work as a prostitute,” Ow wrote.

Means’ bail has been set at $350,000. At his first court appearance, Judge James Cramer denied a defense motion to release him. His next court date has been set for Sept. 8, with a preliminary hearing set to occur three days later, court records show.

Means has pleaded not guilty.