Several members of the Chicago Vice Lords and other gangs were arrested for sex trafficking in Chicago after an 18-month sting operation called “Operation Little Girl Lost.” The victims of the sex trafficking include girls as young as 12 who were forced to become prostitutes and beaten when they tried to leave.
Girls and women between the ages of 12 and 30 were recruited to become prostitutes in a complex homegrown operation that spanned Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Many of the victims were forced to sell their bodies for sex on a daily basis, often working 24-hour shifts, and then forced to give all of their earnings to their pimps. Those that didn’t cooperate, were beaten, whipped, threatened with death, and branded with tattoos as punishments.
The sex trafficking was operated by members of the Vice Lords and sex transactions were largely conducted over the Internet, though more conventional methods like walking the streets were also employed, reports the Sun-Times. The prostitutes recruited were often runaways and they were plied to the trade with promises of quick cash and drugs.
The eight men and one woman arrested were all charged with involuntary servitude of a minor and human trafficking. In Illinois, involuntary servitude of a minor can be considered a class X felony and those convicted of the crime face a 30-year jail term.
Operation Little Girl Lost can be classified as a success after it netted several Chicago Vice Lords for sex trafficking in Chicago. For exploiting girls as young as 12, the gangbangers can expect significant jail time.
- Find a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- 9 Chicago Gang Members Arrested for Allegedly Selling Girls for Sex (Fox News)
- Sex Crimes (FindLaw)
- Tyrelle Locket and Myrelle Locket Sentenced For Sex Trafficking (FindLaw's Chicago Criminal Law Blog)