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ST. LOUIS — A man accused of running a prostitution ring that included a woman who was pregnant and developmentally delayed also tried to recruit a St. Louis police sergeant to work for him, federal court records show.

Jametric A. Steele admitted being a “pimp” and repeatedly tried to recruit the sergeant during a conversation in police headquarters, according to court records released last month, telling her that her “position” among the other women would depend on her “hustle.” He also boasted of having 13 “sugar mommas” who gave him their money in exchange for food, shelter, protection and drugs.

Steele was at headquarters at the time to retrieve his driver’s license, Social Security card and debit card, which had been seized in a July 2018 raid, the records show.

Steele pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He admitted that when police searched his home on July 17, 2018, they found his “unique,” pink and silver .25-caliber Phoenix Arms pistol. As part of the plea, prosecutors and Steele’s lawyer agreed to recommend 19 months in prison when he’s sentenced in March.

Steele has never been charged with prostitution or sex trafficking, and there was no mention of those allegations in court Tuesday. Defense lawyer Felicia Jones declined to comment when asked why.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dianna Collins, who prosecuted the case, wrote in an email that, “Because every human trafficking victim is different, each federal prosecution is different. (The Justice Department) is committed to prosecuting these offenders with whatever federal statutes apply.”

The search that found the gun was inspired by the prostitution investigation, however, which stemmed from a tip that a pregnant, developmentally delayed woman was using a phone number that linked to a website advertising escort services, an affidavit written by FBI Special Agent Jennifer Drews says.

When police searched Steele’s home in the 4500 block of Mary Avenue, it had little furniture, and “appeared to be used to engage in a lot of sexual activity,” Drews wrote in a criminal complaint. There were used condoms and an empty container of “Stree Overlord,” a supplement that claims to enhance male sexual performance.

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One woman who lived in the home told investigators that Steele facilitated commercial sex by posting online ads and forcing the women who lived there to work on the street. She said he had assaulted her with the pink and silver gun, Drews wrote.

After his arrest, Steele was caught on jailhouse phone calls discussing prostitution, Drews wrote. He also explained his operation to the police sergeant, telling her which women were in what position “on the board,” and said that one was responsible for disciplining the other women, Drews wrote.

Steele also faces a St. Louis Circuit Court felony charge of failing to register as a sex offender. Missouri’s sex offender registry says he has prior statutory rape and sexual assault offenses.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Steele tried to recruit a St. Louis police sergeant. An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect police department.

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