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updated: 6/30/2014 4:49 PM

10 plead guilty to human trafficking

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Associated Press

Cook County prosecutors say 10 people have pleaded guilty to trafficking young women and girls for sex.

State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said Monday that nine men and one woman will serve sentences ranging from six to 20 years.

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She says the charges stem from a 2011 wiretap investigation that targeted current and former gang members who trafficked women and children as young as 13 on the streets or through the Internet. All have pleaded guilty over the past year.

Alvarez says the defendants worked together to manage the five young women and 11 children using physical and emotional abuse that included beating, branding them with tattoos, locking them in car trunks and threatening to kill them or their families.

Alvarez says local law enforcement used court-ordered wiretaps and electronic surveillance.

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