Three Men Indicted on Sex Trafficking Charges
BOSTON – Three men were indicted yesterday on charges related to the interstate sex trafficking of a minor and several other women.
Tyrell Gorham, a/k/a Sheek, 30, of Lewiston, Maine; Chelanjei Greene, a/k/a Young, 32, of Brockton; and Lee Young, a/k/a Chop, 32, of Brockton, were indicted for sex trafficking of a minor, interstate transportation of a minor for purpose of prostitution, and sex trafficking through force, fraud, or coercion. The defendants were initially arrested and charged in a criminal complaint on May 5, 2015, and have since been held in federal custody.
According to a criminal complaint, an undercover law enforcement operation conducted in February 2013 identified three adult women and one minor woman as victims of a sex trafficking ring. The investigation revealed that Gorham allegedly used social media to identify and target vulnerable women living in the Portland, Maine area, and then either lured or transported them to the Greater Boston area where Gorham, Greene, and Young would force them to work as prostitutes, posting advertisements for their services on backpage.com. The defendants required the victims to have sex with 10 to 15 customers per day and turn over their earnings to them.
The charges of sex trafficking of a minor and interstate transportation of a minor for the purpose of prostitution provide a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years and no greater than a lifetime in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. The charge of sex trafficking through force, fraud, or coercion provides a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years and no greater than a lifetime in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF). Significant investigative assistance was provided by the FBI; the Boston Police Department Child Abuse and Human Trafficking Units; the Arlington, Malden, Norwood, Revere, Saugus, Woburn, and Brockton Police Departments; the Massachusetts State Police; and the Massachusetts State Police Human Trafficking Unit of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Cummings and Timothy Moran of Ortiz’s Civil Rights Enforcement Team.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.