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Feds charge Chicago man with trafficking minors for sex

Carl Smith

Carl Smith

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Updated: April 10, 2012 12:55AM

A 24-year-old Chicago man was accused of trafficking minors for sex in charges announced Monday, including allegations he brought one of the minors from Wisconsin to Illinois to engage in prostitution.

Carl Brandon Smith, known as “Moo,” was arrested last week, and prosecutors are asking that he remain behind bars until his trial.

Smith, 24, will have a detention hearing on Thursday.

Smith allegedly forced the victims to engage in commercial sex acts and transported one of the minors across the Wisconsin border to engage in prostitution in Illinois.

He was charged in a five-count indictment including: two counts of sex-trafficking of a minor and by force, two counts of sex-trafficking by force, and one count of transporting a minor across state lines to engage in prostitution.

Smith’s lawyer could not be reached for comment Monday.

Prosecutors have asked that the judge bar anyone outside of the case from viewing potential evidence, known as discovery, because of its sensitive nature.

“The discovery to be provided by the government in this case includes sensitive information, including but not limited to information regarding minors, sexual abuse, and potential medical records, whose unrestricted dissemination could adversely affect law enforcement interests and the privacy interests of third parties,” prosecutors wrote in a recent filing.

The charges come as federal authorities have looked to ramp up their prosecutions of sex trafficking cases, particularly when minors are involved. Penalties for trafficking minors in federal court are severe.

Each of the five counts facing Smith carries a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 10 years to a maximum of life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Just last week, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Kocoras sentenced Chicago pimp Datqunn “P Child” Sawyer to 50 years behind bars. It was believed to be the stiffest penalty ever for a convicted sex trafficker in Chicago federal court.

Sawyer’s trial saw unusual testimony — with victims testifying against their own pimp. Many of the women, just teenagers when they met Sawyer, said they were once in love with him. Testimony revealed Sawyer scoured West Side neighborhoods for vulnerable young girls — including one as young as 12 — and then used violence and threats to force them to commit sex acts. The girls, three of whom he also impregnated, then turned over their money to Sawyer. Many said he gave them a quota of having to have sex with five to 15 strangers every day.

In Smith’s case, which was investigated by the FBI and the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force, charges say he forced one minor to engage in commercial sex acts between August and November 2010, and he engaged in sex-trafficking of another minor from February to July 2011. The indictment also says that Smith forced two other victims, both 18 or older at the time, to prostitute themselves beginning in 2011 through just last month.

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