Alabama Defendant Lonnie Mitchell Sentenced for Sex Trafficking, Sentenced to 60 years in Prison and $950,000 in Restitution to the Victims.
Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. of Alabama sentenced Montgomery, Alabama defendant and native Lonnie Mitchell to sixty years in prison for forcing several victims, including a minor, to engage in prostitution over several years. Nearly $950,000 in restitution to the victims was part of the defendant’s sentencing.
After a five-day trial, a board found Mitchell guilty of sex trafficking five victims. The defendant was also found guilty of sex trafficking a juvenile and three charges of coercing and persuading someone to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution.
Lonnie Mitchell utilized unimaginable brutality and exploitation of victims’ drug misuse issues to control their every move and exploit them for his financial gain, said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of Justice Civil Rights.
“Human trading is a heinous crime that degrades and enslaves some of our most vulnerable citizens. Department of Justice will continue to prosecute human trafficking and defend victims.
U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart for the Middle District of Alabama said, “Today’s penalty matches the suspect’s awful treatment and abuse of his victims.”
The emotional damage caused by their ordeal will remain with them forever, even if their physical wounds eventually heal.
I appreciate the authorities who worked together on this case and the courageous victims who spoke out throughout his trial. By making the offender answer for his actions, I believe this punishment will provide some measure of solace to the victims.
According to DHS Homeland Security Investigations (DHS-HIS), Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Katrina Berger, Mr. Mitchell’s actions were very heinous and matched the seriousness of his sentence.
We pray that this agreement will aid the victims in their healing process and dissuade others from engaging in similar behavior for financial gain. The neighborhoods we live in will be protected from drugs and illegal trafficking by HSI agents and their law enforcement allies.
In court, evidence revealed Mitchell sought vulnerable victims with drug addiction difficulties and exploited them. He pushed victims to consume heroin intravenously.
If victims disobeyed one of his numerous regulations or did not give enough commercial customers, he withheld heroin, causing severe withdrawal symptoms.
Mitchell utilized violence, threats of violence, and threats to disclose humiliating information, images, or videos of victim’s loved ones to enforce his rules and guarantee he received enough money from prostitution.
In his forceful strategy to control victims, Mitchell controlled their eating and took their identification papers and credit cards.
Nettisia Mitchell and Donna Emmons pled mortified to the illegal business conspiracy. Nettisia Mitchell, Mitchell’s sister, was punished with 120 months in prison and $2,000 in compensation for her involvement in his coercive scam.
Nettisia fostered and profited from a victim of the bad business after witnessing her brother’s abuse. Emmons received 151 months in prison and $3,500 in compensation.
Clarke, Stewart, and Berger made a very important announcement.
Prosecutors were from United States of America Attorneys J. Patrick Lamb and MaryLou Bowdre and Prosecution Unit Trial Attorney Kate Alexander.
The National Human Hotline is accessible 24/7 at 1-888-373-7888 for anybody with information regarding human trafficking. Visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org for more information.
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