SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Two Sacramento sisters received long federal prison sentences Thursday for sex trafficking of minors, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
Tynisha Marie Hornbuckle, 24, and Tamrell Rena Hornbuckle, 26, were sentenced to 15 years and eight months in prison and 12 years and seven months in prison, respectively, for sex trafficking of minors. U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced them after they had entered guilty pleas before him on May 3 to two counts of sex trafficking of minors.
Co-defendants Latrelle Alicia Hornbuckle, Cherrelle Elizabeth Hornbuckle, Tammy Rena Brown, and Jacqueline Lanoise Radisha Wade have all pleaded guilty to crimes relating to their involvement and await sentencing. Tynisha, Tamrell, Latrelle, and Cherrelle Hornbuckle are all sisters. Brown is their mother.
According to court documents, starting in 2008, the defendants conspired to force and coerce minors to engage in commercial sex acts. At that time, a 13-year-old runaway started working as a prostitute for Tynisha Hornbuckle. This victim continued to work for Tynisha Hornbuckle until the defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2011.
Tynisha Hornbuckle also had at least two other minor victims working as prostitutes for her, Tamrell Hornbuckle had one of the minor victims working for her after the victim turned 18. There were also at least two adult victims who worked for both sisters.
According to court documents, the girls and women took orders from Tynisha Hornbuckle about when to work, where to work, how much to charge, and with whom to have “dates.” The money that they earned as prostitutes was given to Tynisha Hornbuckle and Tamrell Hornbuckle.
Meetings with customers were generally arranged through cellphone calls made to Tynisha or Tamrell Hornbuckle. The sisters would drive the girls to and from dates, which would take place at residences controlled by Tamrell, Cherrelle or Latrelle Hornbuckle, as well as at Brown’s house. The owner of the property would generally receive a small portion of the proceeds when the encounters took place at their home. Local motels were also used.
According to testimony during a sentencing hearing, two of the minor victims were beaten extensively during their time working as prostitutes for the Hornbuckles. Beatings to the 13-year-old occurred on a daily basis, according to one witness. In addition, victims allowed themselves to be tattooed with the “Hornbuckle” name. Witnesses described this process as “branding.”
In sentencing, Judge England said the Hornbuckle family formed a “complex organization that preyed upon … extremely young [girls], and enforced their compliance as prostitutes through “coercion and physical” violence.