RENO, Nev. (AP) - Three weeks after he was convicted of possessing and transporting child pornography, a Nevada brothel owner had his license suspended.
Storey County commissioners said their action Friday against David Burgess will shut down the Old Bridge Ranch, a legal brothel just east of Reno. Burgess had the lone brothel license for it.
Commissioner Bob Kershaw said the panel had no choice but to suspend the license because a county ordinance bars anyone
convicted of a felony from holding a brothel license.
On April 18, a federal jury in Wyoming found the 55-year-old Burgess guilty of the child pornography charges.
"David has been convicted of a very serious crime and how can we not suspend his license considering the crime he committed?" Kershaw asked. "It's unfortunate that this has happened from the standpoint of employees losing their jobs."
A group of Burgess supporters, including his working women and
other employees, packed the hearing room in Virginia City, 20 miles
southeast of Reno.
They urged commissioners to allow Burgess to keep the license so
the brothel could stay open.
George Flint, head of the Nevada Brothel Assocation, said he would try to help arrange a sale of the brothel.
Burgess faces from five to 30 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine when he's sentenced July 7 by U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson.
Prosecutors said two hard drives seized from Burgess' motor home
last July during a traffic stop in western Wyoming contained a vast
collection of child pornography images.
Burgess told police he was on his way to the 2007 Hells Angels USA Run in Eureka Springs, Ark, when he was stopped because of an
expired license plate. He's a Hells Angels member.
During the stop, Burgess was arrested on drug charges when officers found substances believed to be marijuana and cocaine in the vehicle, police said.
State drug charges stemming from the traffic stop were later dismissed.
James Barrett, the assistant federal public defender representing Burgess, has said the convictions will be appealed.
Kershaw, who lives near the brothel, said proceedings to close the Old Bridge Ranch would begin immediately.
"They can't conduct a brothel business at this time," he said. "Maybe there's some solution (for employees) that the place can either be sold or someone else can apply for the license."
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)