Jul. 16—MADISON — A woman pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court for her part in a Rock County-based sex trafficking operation.
Tonyiel L. Partee, 29, pleaded guilty to recruiting women for a prostitution operation in 2017 "in reckless disregard of the fact that force, threats of force ... (and) coercion ... would be used to cause Jane Doe 2 and other adults females to engage in a commercial sex act."
Court records show Partee living at addresses in Beloit, Janesville and Whitewater in recent years.
Partee was accused of recruiting women to work as prostitutes for Cory D. Hereford, 49 of Beloit, who faces a seven-count indictment and whose trial is scheduled for August.
Janesville police originally arrested Hereford, and he was charged in Rock County Court, but the case was moved to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, apparently because Hereford was accused of trying to persuade women to go to Georgia with him to engage in sex for money, court documents indicate.
Partee was indicted after the case went federal.
In a brief filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Madison, Partee is described as sending Hereford a Facebook message on July 24, 2017, saying she "put on some girls to help with money," and on Aug. 13, 2017, that she "got this mixed one lined up right now."
Also in the brief, prosecutors quote a text message Hereford sent in 2017, saying in part: "I've made over $500,000 in the last six-seven years doing what I do. ... I've worked with over 40 different women ..."
Hereford is charged with recruiting and transporting Jane Doe 1, a minor, and Jane Doe 2, an adult, knowing they would be made to engage in sex for money; sexual assault of a child; and maintaining 420 S. Franklin St., Janesville, as a place for distributing and using crack cocaine and heroin, all in 2017.
Partee is not charged in connection with the minor.
In another prosecution document, Partee is accused of working as a prostitute for Hereford and recruiting Jane Doe 2, telling him in a Facebook message, "white girl (identified as Doe 2) tryna (trying to) make money down here. She's 20 and smokes dope. ... She's ready and beautiful."
The document also alleges: "Both Jane Does have made statements that they were afraid of Hereford, and Jane Doe 2 stated that she was afraid of Partee."
The Rock County criminal complaint against Hereford quotes a witness who said he used hotels in Janesville and Beloit for the prostitution and that he used heroin or cocaine to help control the women who worked for him.
As part of a plea agreement, Partee agreed to give a statement about all her criminal activity and that of all others she knows and to testify in court, and if she gives "substantial assistance," the U.S. attorney will recommend the maximum available sentence reduction for acceptance of responsibility.
Partee's sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7.