Federal Officials Transfer Girls Gone Wild Founder From Jail

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - Florida prosecutors are fighting to keep the Girls Gone Wild video series founder in the state.

Federal marshals removed Joe Francis yesterday from the Bay County Jail for possible transport to Nevada.

Francis completed a 35-day federal contempt of court sentence this week related to a federal lawsuit against him by underage girls his company filmed on Panama City Beach in 2003.

If federal officials have their way, he will next face federal tax evasion charges in a Reno, Nevada.

But Florida prosecutors want to try Francis on criminal charges related to the filming of the girls who sued.

A spokesman for State Attorney Steve Meadows says it's not yet clear whether he will stay in Florida or not. A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals office says Francis is in federal custody, calling the move "a first step" in transporting Francis to Nevada.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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