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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Federal Judge Sentences Sex Trafficker to Life in Prison

CHICAGO — A federal judge has sentenced a man to life in prison for forcing women and children to engage in commercial sex acts in Chicago and the suburbs.

SAMUEL NICHOLS led a sex trafficking operation that violently forced at least 12 women and children into the commercial sex trade.  Some of the minors were as young as 13 years old when Nichols trafficked them.  Nichols kept the money earned by his victims, often taking in $1,000 per day.  He openly flaunted his role as a trafficker, flashing money in Instagram posts, having “#1 Pimp” tattooed on his stomach, and using the trafficking proceeds to fund a Chicago-area rap group that posted music videos on websites such as YouTube. 

Nichols, 34, formerly of Chicago, has been in law enforcement custody since October 2014.  A federal jury in Chicago last year convicted Nichols on multiple counts of sex trafficking.  U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall on Monday sentenced Nichols to life in prison.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI.  The Carol Stream Police Department provided valuable assistance.

“The depth and breadth of defendant’s crimes are horrific,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Streicker, Michelle Petersen and Elizabeth Pozolo argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  “While these women and children had sex with dozens of strangers, defendant took the money they earned and used it to fund his own extravagant lifestyle.”

A co-defendant, CHARLES FEARS, 26, of Chicago, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy and sex trafficking charges.  Fears is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Kendall on July 16, 2019.

Evidence in the case revealed that Nichols and Fears carried firearms and would often hit, slap and choke the victims who worked for them, including one incident in which Nichols beat a female so badly she had to be hospitalized.  The pair also supplied the victims with drugs and alcohol while coercing them to participate in the commercial sex acts.

If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by logging on to www.missingkids.com/home or by calling 1-800-843-5678.  The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Violent Crime
Updated June 19, 2019