Children worldwide are becoming more vulnerable every day. There is a massive search effort currently underway for hundreds of young girls snatched from school in Nigeria, and feared to be at risk for being sold into human trafficking. Sounds very far away, but beware because twins Tyrelle and Myrelle Lockett are every parent’s nightmare come home to roost right here in America, Chicago to be exact.
The Lockett brothers, 17 at the time, were the first to be convicted in Illinois under the charge of trafficking people for forced labor or services in 2010. Sadly the young men, now 21, are at it again. NewsOne is reporting that Tyrelle is currently in jail and scheduled to appear in court today. Tyrelle and Myrelle have been recruiting girls on Facebook. They lure them with the promise of quick and easy money.
The alarming fact is that some of these girls were as young as 14. Transcripts of Tyrelle’s Facebook page give examples of how Tyrelle tried to entice the girls. To the adult eye, it comes across as crude and uninviting, but these messages were targeted to the very young; in a microwave generation where everything is expected to be fast with little conversation and romance. You can read examples of his strictly business, no love promised approach here.
Protests of privacy infringement from kids aside, stories like this remind parents and guardians everywhere to be ever vigilant in monitoring their children’s use of social media. Facebook requires that a person be a least 13 years old before they can open their own account. And while this is good, 13 is still an age where many kids want to be popular and accepted. It is important to know when strangers or inappropriate acting people pop up on your child’s timeline. Please report to police if you see any old messages on your child’s timeline from Rico Finally Paid, which is the name Tyrelle used on Facebook.
People like Tyrelle and Myrelle scour social media sites looking for new “friends” like the pimps of olden days used to slink around bus stations watching for the first corn-fed pair of saddle shoes to step off the bus and into their trap. The twins got right back into the human-trafficking racket after serving time for their 2010 conviction. Sgt. William Leen of the Cook County Sheriff’s office told the Daily Beast, “You would think that people learn their lesson, but obviously they didn’t.” Leen was actively involved in the previous and most current sex-trafficking cases for the Lockett brothers.