CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A federal judge on Thursday ordered the owner of a Nevada brothel who is charged with possessing and transporting child pornography in Wyoming to turn over financial information in the next two weeks.
Judge Alan B. Johnson ordered David Burgess, 55, to turn over materials describing his business assets and liabilities. Burgess owns the Old Bridge Ranch, a legal brothel east of Reno. Johnson’s order came in response to a challenge from federal prosecutor Jim Anderson, who has questioned whether Burgess is entitled to be represented by a federal public defender.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol arrested Burgess in July after a trooper stopped a motor home in which Burgess was a passenger. A statement issued by the Highway Patrol said the driver and Burgess told police they were members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang and were traveling to the 2007 Hells Angels USA Run in Eureka Springs, Ark.
Anderson has said in court that a search of a laptop computer found in the motor home determined it was “chock full” of child pornography. A federal grand jury indicted Burgess in November on the child pornography charges, and he was arrested in Nevada, where a magistrate appointed the federal public defender’s office to represent him.
In court Thursday, Anderson said Burgess has indicated he’s the owner of a business worth about $5 million, with liabilities of about $2 million. Anderson said he had received information that Burgess has tax problems but added, “The public defender should only be appointed for truly needy individuals.”