Vallejo rapper sentenced for human trafficking in Contra Costa County and throughout Bay Area

A 38-year-old Vallejo rapper was sentenced Friday to five years and eight months in state prison for the sex trafficking of women he kept in prostitution against their will.

Joel Williams, who released an album under the monikerImage through the notorious Thizz Nation label in April, was convicted by a jury in April of four felonies — human trafficking, pimping, pandering and drug furnishing and transportation — and misdemeanor battery. He was sentenced by Judge Mary Ann O’Malley.

“There were three woman in this guy’s stable that he manipulated through sex, emotional control, physical violence and drugs,” deputy district attorney Chad Mahalich said. “The physical effects were seen through photos, but the emotional and mental effects will be lifelong for everyone involved.

“All these girls came from a troubled background, and he kicked them down and made them feel worthless,” Mahalich said.

Concord police arrested Williams on the human trafficking charges in 2012 after he beat one of the victims in a motel room, and she escaped. The woman told police that Williams had been forcing her to prostitute herself all over the Bay Area.

Williams last released a CD for Thizz Nation in 2008. The label evolved from but is unaffiliated with the label managing the music made by revered Vallejo rapper Mac Dre before he was shot and killed in Kansas City, Mo., in 2004.

The Thizz Nation CEO and many of its rappers were indicted


in federal court in April 2012 as part of a massive drug-trafficking case. Williams was interviewed by investigators but not charged in that case.

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