April trial dates have been scheduled for three Bloomington-Normal men who have been indicted in separate cases on charges of child sex trafficking.
A federal grand jury returned the indictments Feb. 19 and the cases were unsealed as each man made his respective initial appearance in federal court.
The men are:
- Teon Williams, 20, a resident of the 800 block of East Washington Street in Bloomington, who is charged with three counts of child sex trafficking for alleged offenses from 2017-19. The case was unsealed Feb. 25, when Williams was arraigned in federal court. Williams waived his right to a detention hearing and was ordered to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
- Jahquan Howard, 26, a resident of the 1700 block of Linda Lane in Normal, who is charged with one count of child sex trafficking and one count of production of child pornography for alleged offenses from 2018 and 2019. Howard was also arraigned Feb. 25. Howard remains in law enforcement custody after also waiving his right to a detention hearing during a court appearance Thursday (Feb. 27).
- Andrew Wheeler, 24, a resident of the 500 block of Bradley Lane in Normal, who is charged with three counts of child sex trafficking and one count of child sex trafficking conspiracy for alleged offenses in 2019. Wheeler, arraigned Feb. 21, also waived his right to a detention hearing and was ordered to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
The indictments are the result of an investigation by the Bloomington Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division into child sex trafficking in central Illinois. As the investigation progressed, assistance was provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Ghrist is representing the government in the prosecution in coordination with the McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office.
If convicted, the statutory penalty for each count of child sex trafficking is 10 years to life in prison; for child pornography, the penalty is 15-30 years in prison; and, for child sex trafficking conspiracy, the penalty is five years to life in prison.
The cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. For information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc.