SHERIFF’S POLICE BREAK UP HUMAN TRAFFICKING OPERATION
Friday, October 16, 2009 —Three women who were brought to the U.S. as part of a human sex trafficking ring were detained by the Cook County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday and now detectives are working with federal officials to return them to their home country, Sheriff Tom Dart announced.
The women had been in the country for only three weeks, but had already been forced to perform sex acts in New York, San Francisco, Texas and Chicago, after ads offering them for services had been posted on at least two websites, investigators learned.
Operators of the ring took the women’s passports, then demanded they deliver $60,000 in cash before they could get it back. All three, who spoke limited English, were here on tourist visas.
“Human trafficking is a very real crime and it’s going on right in our own communities,” Dart said. “So many women are abused and forced into a life of servitude, forced to pay off debts they’ll never realize, while they live in fear that they or their families back home will be harmed.”
Thursday afternoon, sheriff’s police responded to an ad promoting a “super model, hot, sexy Asian bombshell visiting.” A woman answering a local cell phone number said sex would cost $160. She then instructed the undercover officer to drive to a Schiller Park intersection and call her again. Once he was there, the woman answering the phone told him to go to a nearby motel, where a girl was waiting in a specific room.
When the officer entered the room, a 23-year-old woman immediately attempted to begin having sex with him. After other officers came into the room, she was questioned and revealed that other women were being kept in nearby rooms. All three were then detained and brought to the sheriff’s police department for questioning.