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updated: 9/11/2012 6:45 PM

Suspects charged with sex trafficking

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Associated Press

Two people in Iowa and one in Ohio have been arrested for transporting underage girls to Chicago for prostitution, authorities said.

The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago said in a Tuesday statement that authorities launched an investigation in April after a 14-year-old girl sneaked out of a hotel and called her mother in Iowa City. The mother then contacted police.

There are two other victims -- both 16 years old. The suspects are aged 19, 23 and 41. Federal authorities are seeking to have them sent to Chicago.

A complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago charges each with one count of conspiracy to transport minors across state lines to engage in prostitution.

If convicted, each faces a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence and a maximum sentence of life.

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