The FBI is asking for help in finding potential victims and information about two truck drivers – one of them from Chicago – who are accused of kidnapping women and demanding ransom for their release. CBS 2's Jermont Terry reports.
IRIKA SARGENT: Right now, an FBI alert. These two truck drivers with Chicago ties accused of kidnapping women, then demanding a ransom for their release. CBS 2's Jermont Terry live at Dirksen Federal, where one of the men faced a judge. Jermont?
JERMONT TERRY: Irika, these federal charges read like a horrible movie script. These truckers are accused of driving up and down the interstate, abducting, beating, and assaulting women, then demanding ransom from their family members. One of the two truckers are from-- I should say one of the truckers is from the Chicago area. And tonight, the feds fear that there may be many more victims from this trucking duo.
You can't hop on the interstate and avoid truckers. They're usually the first to see something or say something when things go wrong. Yet the feds say these two truckers did more than just drive the freeway. Brian Summerson and Pierre Washington each face federal kidnapping charges, accused of picking up women, forcing them into prostitution, and if the women refuse, them demanding ransom for their return.
The feds say the duo would drive across the country committing the acts, and there's a chance highways leading to Illinois were on the route. Here's why. Washington is from the Chicago area. He owns God Got Me Trucking Company, based out of Palatine. Its website still up and running, but the company's address links back to this apartment complex and the Northwest burbs. Court records reveal Washington stays here with his family.
Federal agents arrested Washington in Chicago at the end of March. He's considered an over-the-road trucker, someone who drives long distances, and that leaves investigators to worry. They say his route often changes, and they don't know how many other women may have been victimized along the way. Both Washington and Summerson often took their rigs to Miami, New Jersey, Kansas City, Missouri, and Chicago, and their victims could be anywhere in between. Court records show, when arrested, they found more texts, ransom messages from unknown victims. As the feds build their case, they're asking anyone who may have had interaction with the trucking duo to contact them.
Now, there are two victims that the feds know about, but they have also set up a special tip line. You can reach them at the email below. That email is email@example.com. Now, these charges were filed in Tennessee. However, Washington appeared at the Dirksen Federal Building virtually. Now, he did, in fact, bond out, and has been released on home detention. Live at the Dirksen Federal Building tonight, Jermont Terry, CBS 2 News. Irika?
IRIKA SARGENT: Jermont, thank you.