Sheriff's Police Bust Chicago Prostitution Ring
Top row, left to right: Bryon Blanco, Kristian Branch, Brittany Brewer, Shannon Castor, and Shawneequa Boyd. Bottom row, left to right: Jessica Dusablon, Joyce Gipson, Alma Lopez, Wendy Romack. (Cook County Sheriff's office handouts)
Chicago Tribune via YellowBrix
March 13, 2010
CHICAGO – Using a Schaumburg hotel as a base of operations, Cook County sheriff’s police say they busted a prostitution ring in the northwest suburbs that flew in women from across the country.
Eight woman and a man were arrested and a “detailed ledger book of clients” was seized, according to the sheriff’s office.
The investigation was launched after residents complained “about illegal activities being carried out via online services,” the office said. “Undercover officers responded to some ads posted on Craigslist and Backpage, but later began using their own online ads to arrest those looking for sex.”
The office said police worked out of a hotel in Schaumburg that they are not naming because of its cooperation.
“As the officers checked in, they noticed women checking in at the same time (and) suspected they might have flown into the area for illegal purposes. Just a few hours later, those very women were arrested in the sting operation. They had checked in four doors away from the officers.”
Those arrested had posted ads with pictures of themselves or others, advertising “both sexual and non-sexual acts,” the office said.
“Some ads included price ranges from $150 to $400 an hour for services,” the office said. “Some worked for escort agencies, others for pimps, while others were operating on their own.”
One of the women arrested kept records of clients with names, prices charged and contact information, the office said, adding that police were using it “to continue their investigation.”
Jessica Dusablon, 21, of California, was charged with violating the massage act and had her ledger book confiscated by police.
Arrested on prostitution charges were: Bryon Blanco, 41, of Chicago, dressed as a woman; Alma Lopez, 23, of Chicago; Joyce Gipson, 19, of Lansing; Wendy Romack, 37, of Wisconsin; Brittany Brewer, 23, of Minnesota; Shawneequa Boyd, 24, of California; Kristian Branch, 28, of Elgin; Shannon Castor, 24, of Las Vegas.
The men who responded to the ads were cited for violation of Cook County’s public morals nuisance ordinance.