GGW's Joe Francis Denied Bail in Reno

Tom Hymes
RENO, Nevada — Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis has failed in his bid to win release from jail in Reno without facing extradition back to Florida, where charges stemming from a 2003 arrest for purportedly filming underage girls are still pending.

In a ruling filed Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Brian Sandoval denied a motion filed by Francis' attorneys that sought to have their client released from jail in Reno so that he could help prepare for his trial on tax evasion charges.

They also argued that the decision last year by federal Judge Larry Bodiford that the $20 million tax-fraud charges took precedence over the remaining Florida charges gives the Nevada court jurisdiction over Francis until after the tax charges are resolved.

Sandoval disagreed, and Francis will await his August trial date jailed in Reno, where he has been incarcerated since May of last year after Bodiford ordered him relocated there from Panama City, Florida.

In June of last year, Francis was granted and posted $1.5 million bail and was released from jail in Reno, but the next day decided to remain incarcerated after Florida Circuit Court Judge Dedee Costello refused bail on his 2003 charge of using minors in his videos, and also ordered him charged with possession of a controlled substance, as well as possession of contraband after he was discovered carrying prescription sleeping pills while serving his Florida sentence at Bay County Jail on contempt of court charges.

The no-bail warrant remains in effect in Florida, where most of the original 73 counts levied against Francis in 2003 have been dropped. He still faces four felony and two misdemeanor charges from the Florida spring break filming, however.

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