CHICAGO —A Chicago father and his twin adult sons are sentenced to federal prison terms for recruiting vulnerable minors to engage in sex acts for money.
Prosecutors said their sex trafficking scheme operated out of several malls including one in Calumet City and Muncie, Indiana.
Police and prosecutors say despite being picked-up in a Cook County sheriff's sting operation in 2010 and serving a brief stint in prison, the suspects were not deterred. For them, sex trafficking was a family business.
WGN Investigates has learned the men would target underaged girls at the River Oaks Shopping Center in south suburban Calumet City as one place underage girls, according to a law enforcement source.
Federal prosecutors say Nathan Nicholson sent his twin sons Myrelle and Tyrelle to malls from suburban Chicago to Muncie, Indiana looking for girls to use as sex slaves.
Court documents and testimony reveal how the operation worked.
Some were recruited on social media, others in person.
The young women were promised money for what they were told were dates.
They were then take to abandoned homes and photographed partially naked.
Nicholson, the father, then had his twin sons test the girls by having sex with them, according to investigators.
Prosecutors say the sons didn’t solely act at their father’s direction. They went on to act as their own pimps and recruited victims and from as far away as Minnesota
There were at least 10 victims, the youngest, was just 14 years old.
The FBI credited police in Alsip, Dolton, Calumet Park, Lansing, Chicago, Muncie, Indiana and Rochester, Minnesota with helping to make this case.
A federal judge sentenced the father to 16 years in prison. His sons will serve a little more than 17 years behind bars.