“Thank God her car broke down”: River North club drug victim speaks out

Tjwana Rainey (left) and Tiana Trammell were arrested near the Hubbard Street nightlife district in River North | Google; CPD

After drugging a well-dressed River North nightclub’s VIP host around closing time Sunday, two Milwaukee women led the nearly-incoherent man to their nearby car. But they had a big problem after they stripped him of his cellphones, watch, and credit cards: Their car wouldn’t start, and they had a half-clothed, unresponsive man in the backseat.

Then, an even bigger problem emerged: Chicago police detectives and Deputy U.S. Marshals, who had been tracking the women for days, swarmed their vehicle and took them into custody.

Those are some of the incredible allegations that were expected to be made in Cook County bond court Tuesday afternoon, based on conversations with the alleged victim and sources.

This morning, Chicago police confirmed that Tiana Trammell, 25, and Tjwana Rainey, 32, are each charged with felony counts of operating a continuing financial crimes enterprise and possession of a controlled substance — along with misdemeanor counts of possessing a laser sight or silencer.

CWBChicago first reported on the investigation Monday morning.

VIP treatment

“They roofied me at the club because I was wearing designer clothes and a gold Rolex watch,” the alleged victim told CWBChicago in an interview Monday afternoon. He asked us to withhold his name.

“I don’t remember walking out of the club,” he said. When he regained consciousness, he was half-clothed and surrounded by cops and federal agents, the 26-year-old continued.

“The detectives saved me. Thank God her car broke down so [the women] couldn’t leave.”

Based on his conversation with investigators, the man believes he was in the women’s disabled car near LaSalle and Hubbard streets for about 30 minutes as the duo tried to figure out how to get rid of him.

“They didn’t know what to do with me,” he said. “They couldn’t start the car. So I was just laying in their back seat until the cops came. Then they arrested them and recovered my property.”

“The whole time, the detectives and feds were watching them, so they saw everything.” It was not clear if law enforcement disabled the women’s car to prevent their escape.

An ambulance transported the man to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for evaluation, he said.

Chicago cops and federal law enforcement had Trammell and Rainey under surveillance for days as investigators tried to crack a stubborn pattern of similar crimes at downtown nightclubs and bars.

A source said another man was targeted similarly on Friday night. More details about the investigation are expected to be revealed at the women’s bond hearing. And officials believe there are still other women — mostly from Wisconsin — who are involved in similar operations.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com