News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Final Hornbuckle Sister Sentenced for Child Sex Trafficking

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Docket #: 2:11-00327 MCE



SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Cherelle Elizabeth Hornbuckle, 26, of Sacramento, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to seven and a half years in prison for participating in a sex trafficking venture, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

Cherelle Hornbuckle is the last defendant to be sentenced in this case. Co-defendants in the case included her sisters: Tynisha Hornbuckle, 24, was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in prison; Tamrell Hornbuckle, 26, was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison; and Latrelle Hornbuckle, 25, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. Their mother Tammy Brown, 44, was sentenced to three years in prison

According to court documents, starting in 2008, the defendants solicited clients for minor females. The sisters would drive the girls to meet the clients and then would pick them up at the conclusion. These encounters took place at motels or the homes of Tamrell, Cherelle, or Latrelle Hornbuckle or their mother’s house. The owner of the home got a cut.

In sentencing Cherelle Hornbuckle, Judge England said that the sentence was intended in to give her credit for her early plea in this case, and to promote early guilty pleas from other defendants in future cases. In response to her argument at sentencing that her conduct was not as serious as her sisters’ because she “attempted to protect” the girls who worked for the Hornbuckle family, and treated them like a member of the family, Judge England said, “[it is a] perversion of the term ‘family’ to get to the point where this happens.”

This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force, a multijurisdictional task force of the FBI, Sacramento Police Officers and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Reardon prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.



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