Lazell D. Wade

PONTOON BEACH - A man from Madison charged with transporting a 15-year-old girl to perform commercial sex acts - who also admitted to doing drugs and having sex with the victim - has been indicted by a Madison County grand jury.

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Lazell D. Wade, 33, of Madison, was charged with the following:

  1. Involuntary sexual servitude of a minor under 17 (Class X felony)
  2. Unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (Class 1 felony)
  3. Unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (Class 1 felony)
  4. Aggravated criminal sexual abuse (Class 2 felony)
  5. Unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (Class 2 felony)
  6. Unlawful delivery of a controlled substance (Class 2 felony)
  7. Contributing to the criminal delinquency of a minor (Class 3 felony)
  8. Involuntary servitude (Class 4 felony)
  9. Endangering the life or health of a child (Class A misdemeanor)

A petition filed to deny Wade’s pretrial release states that on June 11, 2024, the Pontoon Beach Police Department responded to a report of “a juvenile female offering sex acts for money” at a Flying J gas station. After police found the minor “in a bathroom stall, visibly intoxicated,” she was identified as a missing juvenile from Arizona.

Surveillance footage obtained by officers showed the victim getting out of a red 2024 Ford F-150, which was later tracked via License Plate Reader (LPR) cameras to Wade’s home in Madison, where he was taken into custody.

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The victim was interviewed at the Madison County Child Advocacy Center, where she disclosed that she and Wade had sex in the truck, and that he “provided her with crack cocaine” which she said they used together in the truck. Wade later admitted to having sex with the victim, providing her with crack cocaine, and using it with her in his truck.

“Wade was taken into custody and a search warrant was obtained for the truck after [the victim] was interviewed,” the petition adds. “A search of the truck yielded 14.6 grams of fentanyl capsules, 2.1 grams of ecstasy and 13.3 grams of crack cocaine. [The victim] also provided information consistent with human sex trafficking and that investigation is ongoing.”

Wade’s case was initially presented by the Pontoon Beach Police Department before being overseen by the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois (MEGSI), a division of the Illinois State Police.

During an interview with MEGSI agents, Wade reportedly “admitted to driving [the victim] to various locations so she could ‘make money,’” later clarifying “making money” to mean “offering sexual services for payment. He also told agents that “she was supposed to pay him some of the money.”

Wade was ordered remanded to jail to be held until his initial court appearance, and remains in the custody of the Madison County Jail. He was indicted by a Madison County grand jury on June 20, 2024.

The issuance of charges is based solely upon probable cause and is not an indication of guilt. All subjects charged with criminal offenses are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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