BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Following the 2021 raid on the Desert Star Motel, the owner and general manager were charged in federal court, accused of charging inflated rates to pimps who had prostitutes working out of the property.

Curtis Lee Moore Jr. was arrested during the raid and initially only charged with being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition.

That changed this week, when prosecutors brought charges of human trafficking — including human trafficking of a minor — pimping and assault against him. Arrested Thursday, Moore, 45, is being held on $675,000 bail and is due in court next week for his formal arraignment.

According to a probable cause declaration, a camera set up by investigators in 2020 to observe illegal activity at the Union Avenue motel caught Moore renting multiple rooms. He lived in one and used another for prostitutes to arrange dates, the document says.

After the motel was raided, one of the prostitutes said Moore beat her multiple times and threatened her to force her to keep prostituting herself, according to the declaration.

Jatinbhai Bhakta, the motel’s former owner, has pleaded guilty in federal court to use of a business of interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise and aiding and abetting. He faces up to five years in prison at his April 17 sentencing. Roy Drees, a convicted sex offender who worked as the motel’s general manager, has a status conference set for March 29.