GREAT FALLS — Lavondrick Terelle Hogues of New Mexico, who was convicted of aggravated promotion of prostitution in June 2021, was sentenced in Billings on Friday, February 25, 2022.
While keeping in contact and directing activities via phone calls and text messages, Terelle Hogues sent a woman and a 17-year-old girl on a trip across the country to work as prostitutes in 2015, including in New Mexico, Texas, North Dakota, and Montana.
An undercover agent of Montana's Division of Criminal Investigation found a website posting that offered “escort services.” He called the phone number and made arrangements to meet at a Billings hotel. When entering the room, he identified himself as a police officer and learned that one of the females was only 17 years old. The woman traveling with the minor was convicted of felony promotion of prostitution in 2016.
The investigation found that the woman constantly reported her and the minor’s location, activities, patrons, and how much money they were making and spending, and sent photos to Hogues.
Hogues made comments to the effect that they “better get to making some money.” Hogues and the woman also sent money back and forth using electronic and wire transfers.
Hogues was eventually arrested by New Mexico authorities and extradited to Montana and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
District Judge Donald Harris of the Yellowstone County District Court sentenced Hogues on Friday to 15 years in the Montana State Prison, with three of the years suspended.
“Our DOJ investigators and prosecutors kept up with this multi-year case and did a great job winning a conviction that led to this sentence. Human and sex trafficking are happening in Montana, and we will continue our work to eliminate these crimes,” said Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen in a news release. “It is one of my top priorities as attorney general to fight human trafficking in Montana, which includes finding these predators and holding them accountable.”
The case was prosecuted by Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys following an investigation by the DOJ Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI).