MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WRBL) — A Montgomery man was found guilty of charges relating to sex trafficking and coercing victims to engage in prostitution, according to The United States Attorney’s Office of Middle District Alabama.
On June 17, Lonnie Dontae Mitchell, 36, was convicted of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion of five victims. Mitchell was also found guilty of sex trafficking a minor, three counts of coercing and enticing an individual to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution purposes.
According to the court evidence, Mitchell’s crimes targeted victims with drug addictions.
Court records state Mitchell increased his victims’ intravenous heroin use, then refused to give them the drug if they broke one of his “rules” or did not see enough sexual clients. He also got violent and threatened his victims when one of his rules was broken — specifically if his victims did not bring in enough money from prostitution.
Special Agent in Charge Katrina Berger remarks on the case.
Along with this, Mitchell threatened to send embarrassing information, videos and/or photos to the victims’ loved ones. He also took his victims’ identity documents and credit cards, in addition to controlling how much and when they could eat.
“This verdict means Mitchell is facing justice for the many horrors that he inflicted upon his victim, in the name of profit,” said Berger. “Thankfully, he will no longer be able to prey upon innocent children. This is another example of not only the great partnership HSI has with its law enforcement partners, but also the great work we do to protect our communities.”
Mitchell faces a minimum of 15 years up to life in prison.
Anyone with information about human trafficking should call the National Human Trafficking 24/7 Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. For more information about human trafficking, visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org.