Chicago Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Forced Sex Trafficking of Four Victims, Including Two Minors
CHICAGO—A Chicago man was sentenced today to 30 years in federal prison for forced sex-trafficking of two minor and two young adult women. The defendant, CARL BRANDON SMITH, forced his victims to engage in commercial sex acts, used physical violence, and threatened to kill them if they ever left him between 2010 and early 2012.
Smith, also known as “Moo,” 27, pleaded guilty in January 2103 to transporting a minor from Wisconsin to Illinois for prostitution. He targeted young and vulnerable women and girls, ages 17 through 21. He psychologically manipulated them, convinced them that he was their boyfriend who loved them, and then forced them to earn their keep by working as prostitutes.
One victim spoke in court today, describing the physical and emotional impact that Smith’s crimes had on her. Addressing the defendant, she said she has moved on in her life, but she will remain permanently scarred.
“You were a violent pimp. . . . The pain, fear, and harm you’ve inflicted on these women is devastating,” U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve said in imposing the sentence. Smith must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence and the judge placed him on five years’ supervised release after he is imprisoned. Smith was also ordered to pay approximately $239,000 in restitution to be allocated among the four victims based on a formula that takes into account the number of days each was prostituted, how many men they were forced to have sex on average each day, and the rate that Smith advertised their services.
“He did unspeakable things to his victims,” Assistant U.S Attorney Christopher Grohman argued at sentencing, adding in a written memo that the government could not “put into words the magnitude of harm or the life-altering consequences Smith caused his victims through his mosaic of cruelty.”
After the victims started in Smith’s employ, he kept them “in line” using a regime of verbal threats, drugs, physical beatings, and forcible sex acts. For just under two years, he “caused incalculable physical and psychological damage to his victims, in some cases scarring them physically and emotionally for life,” AUSA Grohman argued.
According to court documents, Smith met one victim in December 2010 and began contacting her via phone, text, and social media, asking her to move to Chicago, intending that she be his “girlfriend” and also engage in prostitution. In February 2011, Smith drove from Chicago to the victim’s residence in Wisconsin, and then drove her from Wisconsin to his apartment in Chicago, knowing that she was under 18 at the time.
Once in Chicago, Smith “dated” the victims for approximately a week before she began working as a prostitute under his employ between February and July 2011. Acting as her pimp, Smith advertised the victim for commercial sex on Internet sites, and instructed her to have sex with customers in his apartment and in area motels, with Smith collecting the money she earned.
The DuPage County Sheriff’s Office, the Naperville and Aurora police departments, and the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force assisted in the investigation. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Grohman.
The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.