South Suburban Man Facing Federal Charge for Allegedly Sex Trafficking Minors
CHICAGO—A Dolton, Illinois man who allegedly transported underage individuals from Indiana to Illinois to engage them in commercial sex acts has been charged in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of transporting a minor across state lines with the intent that the minor engage in prostitution. The charge and the arrest of the defendant were announced today by Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI, and Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Tyrelle Lockett, 21, of the 200 block of East 143rd Street in Dolton, who also goes by the names Rico, Rico Williams, and Rico Finally Paid, was arrested without incident in the 6900 block of South Maplewood in Chicago late Wednesday based on a criminal complaint filed under seal last week and unsealed following his arrest. Lockett appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez, who ordered him held pending his next court appearance, which is scheduled for Monday, May 19, 2014, at 11:00 a.m.
According to the complaint, Lockett and others ran a sex trafficking business in the Chicago area and transported underage persons across state lines to perform commercial sex acts beginning in about March 2012 and continuing through approximately October 2013. Lockett allegedly instructed the minors on how to interact with clients, gave them false names and fake IDs, bought hair extensions, manicures, clothing, and food for them and advertised their services by posting suggestive photographs and information on various websites. Lockett then kept all the money earned by the minors by performing commercial sex acts, according to the complaint. Lockett also allegedly used a Facebook page under the name Rico Finally Paid to recruit victims, including minors, for his sex trafficking business.
The complaint sets forth certain details of Lockett’s interactions with three victims, all of whom are from the Muncie (Indiana) area and were allegedly brought to the Chicago area by Lockett. The complaint also alleges that Lockett was assisted in transporting minors and in running his sex trafficking business by his brother, identified in the complaint as Individual E, and his father, identified as Individual B. The investigation is ongoing.
The investigation is being conducted jointly by the Chicago Office of the FBI and the Cook County Sheriff’s Police. Mr. Holley expressed his gratitude for the substantial assistance provided during the course of the investigation by the FBI’s Indianapolis office, the Cook County States Attorney’s Office, the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Chicago, Alsip, Calumet Park, Lansing, Muncie, and Rochester (Minnesota) Police Departments.
If convicted of the charge filed against him, Lockett faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.