Montgomery Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking
A Montgomery man has been convicted of sex trafficking, including coercing victims into prostitution.
According to the U.S. Attorney, a federal jury found 36-year-old Lonnie Dontae Mitchell guilty of numerous offenses after a five-day trial on Friday.
The jury convicted Mitchell of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion of five victims. The jury also found him guilty of sex trafficking a minor, and three counts of coercing and enticing an individual to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution.
Two other defendants previously pleaded guilty.
According to the evidence presented in court, Mitchell targeted victims who struggled with drug addiction. He increased the victims’ use of heroin and encouraged them to use it intravenously. He then did not provide heroin to the victims if they violated one of his rules or otherwise did not see enough commercial sex clients.
Other consequences of violating defendant Mitchell’s rules or failing to provide him with sufficient money from prostitution included violence, threats of violence and threats to send embarrassing information, photos or videos to the victims’ loved ones.
In addition, defendant Mitchell regulated the amount of food the victims could eat, when they could eat, and also confiscated their identity documents and credit cards.
According to the U.S. Attorney, Mitchell’s co-defendant and sister, Nettisia Mitchell, was aware of her brother’s scheme and facilitated it. Nettisia Mitchell had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion. According to court documents, Nettisia witnessed Lonnie’s violence against a victim, yet harbored the victim and received the proceeds from the victim’s involvement in commercial sex.
A third co-defendant, Donna Emmons, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor. Both Nettisia Mitchell and Emmons await sentencing. They face a maximum sentence of life in prison and mandatory restitution.
Sentencing has not yet been scheduled. Mitchell faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years for sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, and a maximum sentence of life. Restitution is also required under federal law.
Lonnie Mitchell was previously convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm when law enforcement found him with a handgun while executing a search warrant connected with this case in September 2020. He was sentenced to 108 months in prison for that crime last week.
Anyone who has information about human trafficking should report that information to the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about human trafficking, please visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org.
— Information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Alabama