DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Indiana

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 20, 2018
Thomas Kirsch
, United States Attorney
Contact: Ryan Holmes

East Chicago Woman Sentenced to 204 Months Imprisonment

For Sex Trafficking Minors and and Adult Female by Fraud and Coercion

HAMMOND –Melinda Milton, 37, of East Chicago, Indiana was sentenced by District Court Judge Philip P. Simon to 204 months in prison and 5 years of supervised release following her conviction by guilty plea to one count of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of sex trafficking by fraud and coercion, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.

 

According to documents in the case, Milton ran a prostitution business for several years by advertising females for escort services on the website Backpage.com. Between February and October 2015, Milton recruited three minor females between the ages of 15 and 16 to perform commercial sex acts for one of Milton’s regular customers. Between December 2014 and May 2015, Milton also defrauded and coerced a 21-year old female to work for Milton as a prostitute. Among other tactics, Milton supplied the adult victim with drugs and caused her to fear for her safety in order to make her more compliant.

 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Hammond Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Abizer Zanzi, David Nozick and Dean Lanter.

 

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Field Division: Chicago Field Division