Twins First Convicted Of Sex Trafficking In Illinois

UPDATED 02/10/11 6 a.m.

MARKHAM, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) — Twin brothers charged last year with forcing young women to perform sex acts for money in the south suburbs will be going to prison, the first people in Illinois convicted of human trafficking.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports

Tyrelle and Myrelle Lockett, 18, of Dolton, pleaded guilty Tuesday to Class 1 felony charges of trafficking of persons for forced labor or services, and were sentenced by Judge Frank Zelezinski to four years in prison, a release from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said.

Police arrested the brothers last year after an undercover operation revealed they were forcing young women, including one underage girl, to perform sex acts with men for money. As part of the operation, Cook County Sheriff’s officers met with Tyrelle Lockett at a Lansing motel after responding to an online ad.

According to prosecutors, the operation involved making motel reservations and taking photos of the victims for the ads they created and posted. Once the meetings were set, the victims would enter motel rooms and have sex with men while the defendants waited nearby to collect payment.

The victims in the case told investigators both brothers beat and threatened them if they did not perform the sex acts. The brothers also kept control of all of the money the victims earned, the release said.

The victims in this case, a 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman, were not charged. They were referred to the Salvation Army’s STOP-IT Program, which offers psychological and medical treatment, educational services and vocational training for victims of the sex trade, the release said.

In 2010, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez created a Human Trafficking Initiative to combat the escalating incidents of sex trafficking and underage prostitution. Specially trained prosecutors work with local, state and federal law enforcement entities to investigate and prosecute cases.

Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Lou Longhitano says the scope of human trafficking is broad and shocking.

“We’ve got sort of a perfect storm taking place here in Chicago,” he said.

In some respects, Chicago is a highly desirable site for the human trafficking trade, Longhitano said.

“We are a tour city for tourism, we’re a transportation hub, and we’re a conference and convention center,” he said.

And who are the humans who are being trafficked and forced into prostitution?

“There are kids, and those are the victims of human trafficking just as much as the faceless individual that you can imagine from halfway across the globe,” Longhitano said.

Most of the victims prosecutors see are from the area, and between the ages of 12 and 17.

The conviction of the Lockett brothers was the first in Illinois for human trafficking, officials said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

  • Cop

    Should have got the death penalty..

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  • Guest

    I highly doubt they FORCED them to do anything.

  • Average Guy

    When we witness young people behaving badly, we really are witnessing the parents who raised them and or, the environments they learn their examples of behavior. We can only imagine what their parents and or, their environments taught these young men or, if the parents were even around to assist raise them. Also, we can only hope that they are receiving the same types of treatments the young ladies are receiving. Maybe they all will become desensitized too these types of behaviors.

    • T

      Their parents do not raise them! Who are you kidding! Grandma is the only parental figure in these animals lives… Dad is NEVER around and that is the problem with these thugs…

      • Average Guy

        Who am I kidding? You have proven my point. No parental guidance, the wrong environments, bad results. Hopefully they’ll get some type of help in prison.

  • T

    They were all in it together to make money. The guys were the protection so the girls would be paid… When the girls got caught, they put it on their pimps so they would not get in trouble… The guys were not paying them the going ‘ho rate so they figured if they got rid of them they could make more money on their own… What does it matter? As soon as these street urchins are released from prison, they will be right back acting a fool commiting criminal offenses…

  • detective clue so

    after reviewing the information .
    death would certainly be the best
    for them and society . no reason to hit a girl
    especially when she is supporting
    your loser @$$ !
    case closed !

  • Bob Hamilton

    These two thuggies had no chance to make it. They were raised by animals in the ghetto and operate as animals. When they get out they will most likely still be animals. The females they abused were from a similar background.

    • Justice

      Bob, what species of animal are you from? Bigots deserve the death penalty all the same

    • Budcat1

      Some young men aspire to be criminals.They look like they will fit in nicely where they are going.

  • My thoughts

    hope they get raped in prison….

    • Budcat1

      Or worse!

  • Justice Stamps

    Bob, what species of animal are you from? Bigots deserve the death penalty all the same.

  • Now looky here

    Momma was real original with naming these shines!!!! She should’ve given them both the same name. F-ing savage tribe!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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