FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Minneapolis man accused of bringing a woman to North Dakota for prostitution has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison.

Ronnel Johnson was arrested last year on Interstate 94 near Valley City while traveling from Minnesota to the western North Dakota oil patch.

Authorities say Johnson’s cell phone had sexually explicit photographs of at least two women that were identical to photographs that ran in Backpage.com advertisements for commercial sex in western North Dakota.

The 31-year-old Johnson pleaded guilty in January to transportation for the purposes of prostitution.

Johnson’s lawyer, Christopher Lancaster, argued at Monday’s hearing for a sentence of not more than two years. The government asked for a sentence of five years.

Judge Ralph Erickson sentenced Johnson to 40 months in prison.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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