Three Men Sentenced for Sex Trafficking of a Minor
BOSTON – Three men were sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with the sex trafficking of a minor.
“Sex traffickers routinely target the young and most vulnerable in our communities,” said Carmen M. Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. “I hope that these sentences send a strong message that the federal government will use all of the tools at its disposal to investigate and prosecute these predators.”
“These individuals preyed on a child with the intent of forcing the victim into a life of prostitution,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division. “They sought to victimize society’s most vulnerable for their own financial gain. The FBI, together with our law enforcement partners, is committed to identifying predators like these to disrupt and dismantle sex trafficking organizations impacting our communities.”
Tyrell Gorham, a/k/a Sheek, 31, of Lewiston, Maine, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 12 years in prison for one count of sex trafficking a minor. Lee Young, a/k/a Chop, 34, of Dorchester, Mass., and Chelanjei Greene, a/k/a Young, 34, of Brockton, Mass., were sentenced to eight years and six years, respectively, for one count each of conspiring to sex traffic a minor. Each defendant was also sentenced to five years of supervised release. On Sept. 21, 2016, Gorham, Young and Greene pleaded guilty.
An undercover law enforcement operation conducted in February 2015 identified a minor woman as a victim of a sex trafficking ring. Gorham recruited the minor from the Portland, Maine area, and Gorham and Young transported her and a friend to the Greater Boston area to work as prostitutes. With assistance from Greene, the minor and her friend posted an advertisement on Backpage.com, which was used to offer the sexual services of the women for a fee. The minor victim and her friend traveled to a motel in Woburn to meet a prospective client, however, the client was actually an undercover law enforcement officer.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF). In addition to the FBI, significant investigative assistance was provided by; the Boston Police Department Child Abuse and Human Trafficking Units; the Arlington, Malden, Norwood, Revere, Saugus, Woburn, and Brockton Police Departments; and the Massachusetts State Police Human Trafficking Unit of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.
U.S. Attorney Ortiz and FBI SAC Shaw made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Moran and Emily Cummings of Ortiz’s Civil Rights Enforcement Team prosecuted the case.