Three men are charged with bringing Maine women - and one teenager - to the Boston area to serve as prostitutes, the US Attorney's office charges.
One of the three, Tyrell Gorham, allegedly kept trying to run his prostitution business - and to threaten witnesses - even after state authorities locked him up in the Nashua Street jail, the FBI says.
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, all face federal charges of sex trafficking of a minor across state lines and sex trafficking through force, fraud, or coercion.
According to federal officials, the three scouted for troubled teens and women in the Portland, ME area and convinced them to come down to Massachusetts to turn tricks for them. One of the people they convinced was under 18, according to the federal complaint against them.
An FBI agent involved in the case detailed the February operation that led to the three men's downfall in an affidavit: FBI agents and Revere and Woburn police officers scouted Backpage.com for young-looking women and arranged "dates" with them.
After checking into the Best Western Plus Roundhouse Suites in the South End on Feb. 22, the teen and a woman were driven up to the Fairfield Inn in Revere, where a man agreed to pay them and they undressed and "engaged in sexual activity with one another" - until the man told them to stop because he was an undercover agent. The two then agreed to talk to investigators.
The next day, the affidavit continues, the law-enforcement officers arranged a similar meeting with two other women working for the three - one of whom told officers she was plied with heroin in an attempt to keep her alert for the 10 to 15 sexual encounters a day the men required her to perform.
The affidavit says Gorham was arrested on local charges on Feb. 23 and put into the Nashua Street jail. Based on the intercepted phone calls, the agent wrote, Gorham told another woman to forward nude photos of one of the three women to her boyfriend in an attempt to get her to stop cooperating with authorities. Also:
GORHAM also told Bloomquist “I left Chop with two able bodied girls who are willing to work” and inquired as to why YOUNG had not sent GORHAM money while he was in custody. Bloomquist told GORHAM that “they got [Minor A] and [Woman A]. GORHAM asked Boomquist why “Chop” wasn’t also in custody then. Bloomquist had no answer, but told GORHAM that she had two “girls” she could put to work to raise money for him.