A man accused of being a "well-known pimp" was put behind bars in Oklahoma County after a confidential informant tipped of state agents.
Joel French, 40, is accused of operating a large-scale human trafficking ring in the Oklahoma City metro.
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics agents had French locked up earlier this month on a $1 million bond. He was arrested on complaints of human trafficking and pandering.
News 9 went to French’s neighborhood on Wednesday where word was spreading about the illegal operation.
With flyers in hand, the operator of JohnTV.com canvased the streets of an upscale Choctaw neighborhood near East Reno Avenue and Triple X Road. Brian Bates was letting residents know an accused pimp lives next door.
Bates recently posted about French's arrest on his website.
“I immediately began hearing from people who were very familiar with him, and claim he’s been operating as a pimp out of Yukon for several years and then moved to this area,” said Brian Bates, JohnTV.com.
Court records showed that French lives in a large home with his wife and a young child. The same documents indicates the informant told OBN agents that French had five to seven females in the Oklahoma City metro working for him.
“He provides the funds and keeps them in apartments throughout the city,” said Bates. “He negotiates the deals and the men meet at those apartments.”
The informant also alleged that French recruited girls to prostitute through ads on the internet and that he operated through force.
“They did say he was very controlling,” said Bates. “OBN’s own PC affidavit it mentions that he uses coercion and force to maintain control over his organization.”
OBN officials did not want to discuss the details of the investigation and kept court documents vague. The document noted the informant's tips were corroborated through interviews with other people.
“This tells me this is a very big case,” said Bates. “They simply wanted to get him off the streets long enough so they could do some additional investigations and also probably give some people the confidence to come forward and talk.”
OBN officials said French’s case will go to the multi-county grand jury this week.