We've all done it without even thinking about it. Adding a complete stranger as a Facebook friend has become a commonplace practice, and has even lead to some people starting a new relationship. But even as social media sites increase their privacy and "safety" settings, the danger continues to ramp up. Such is the case with Chicago-area twins Tyrelle and Myrelle Lockett.
The Lockett brothers were previously charged for human-trafficking in 2010 when they were only 17 years old. They were sentenced to four years, but got their sentences reduced after doing a "boot camp". However, they are back in trouble once more. Myrelle allegedly attempted to force a woman into prostitution, and his brother is facing federal charges for allegedly trafficking underage girls.
It all started out with a scenario normal to many women on Facebook. You get a random friend request from a guy you don't know. Perhaps you decide to add him, and wait to see if he will message you. Both twins did. But it wasn't to get to know these young girls and take them on a date.
In Myrelle's case, he picked up an 18 year-old Minnesota woman along with his brother and took her to their father's house, where they informed her that she would be having sex for money. Luckily the young woman was able to escape over a fence.
Tyrelle's game wasn't tricking women into thinking they were on a date, and then pressing them into prostitution. He made a full throttle business of it. He managed a Facebook page called Rico Finally Paid, all about about being a pimp and getting easy money. The FBI got a hold of Facebook messages between Tyrelle and girls as young as 16 in which he asked them to be an escort for him. Many of these conversations included the girls turning him down, but Tyrelle was allegedly able to get a few minors to do his bidding.
A young woman identified in the case files as Minor C says she collected $3,000 from clients in one week, but Tyrelle didn't share a cent, leaving her completely dependent on him and far from home. Another one of the girls claims that Tyrelle slapped and chocked her saying "You're mine."
The good news is that one of the girls is brave enough to testify as a witness. Tyrelle is in custody and will remain there until his court appearance on Friday, May 23rd. His twin is also facing sex-trafficking charges and is behind bars.
Let this be a lesson to anyone who has even been approached by a stranger on social media; keep your wits about you, especially when they claim to be a pimp.