Friday November 27th, 2015 5:38PM

Sentencing Thursday in human trafficking case

By The Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) A Gwinnett County man who pleaded guilty to transporting a woman across state lines for prostitution as part of a multistate kidnapping and human trafficking investigation was scheduled for sentencing Thursday afternoon in Mississippi.

Ruperto Moncillo Flores and another man were arrested June 27 after a woman walked into the Hattiesburg, Miss., Police Department and said she'd been abducted in Panama City Beach, Fla.

Authorities have said Flores had no knowledge of the abduction, but was asked to transport the woman to Louisiana for prostitution. The woman had been a witness in a prior human trafficking case, which led to numerous convictions in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Authorities say Flores, of Lawrenceville, Ga., was arrested in Mississippi when his van broke down before he made it to pick up the kidnapping victim.

Another woman with him at the time said Flores was taking her to Louisiana for prostitution, authorities say. He pleaded guilty in October to a violation of the federal Mann Act for transporting that woman.

Sentencing is scheduled to take place in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg.

When Flores pleaded guilty, assistant U.S. Attorney Annette Williams said the victim heard her abductors call someone to take her to a ``house of prostitution'' in Baton Rouge, La.

Williams said at the time that the abduction started an investigation into a ``multistate prostitution ring and human trafficking organization.''

Feliciano-Francisco, also known as Uriel Castillo-Ochoa, is charged in U.S. District Court in Panama City, Fla., with kidnapping the former witness. He pleaded not guilty on Aug. 12 to five charges, including kidnapping and retaliating against a witness.

Authorities said the victim was in her yard in Florida when Feliciano-Francisco and an unidentified man forced her into a car and drove to Feliciano-Francisco's house in Hattiesburg. Investigators say Feliciano-Francisco sexually assaulted the victim and planned to force her to work as a prostitute.

The kidnapping victim escaped through a bathroom window that evening and went to the Hattiesburg Police Department about 6:30 p.m.

Feliciano-Francisco was arrested at the house that night. Flores was arrested on Interstate 59 in Jones County.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 10 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 10 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 10 months ago )
Local/State News
Black Friday: The Super Bowl of shopping starts in stores, but it looks very different
NEW YORK (AP) — The annual ritual of Black Friday, as we know it, is over.Gone are the throngs of frenzied shoppers camping out for days ahead of the big sales bonanza on the day after Thanksgiving. A...
4:47PM ( 51 minutes ago )
Police searching for gunman in Colorado shooting, 3 officers injured
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Police were searching for a gunman Friday who opened fire near a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.At least three officers were injured but it was not known...
4:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
Deadline to sponsor Wreaths Across America at Alta Vista is Monday
Each holiday season, veteran grave sites at Alta Vista cemetery in Gainesville are adorned with wreaths as part of Wreaths Across America.
3:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
PHOTO GALLERY: Holiday shoppers hit Gainesville stores early
Black Friday may still have status as the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, but Thanksgiving Thursday is gaining ground as more stores opt to open early.
By AccessWDUN staff
10:01AM ( 7 hours ago )
White House undergoes Thanksgiving Day lockdown after man draped in American flag jumps fence
WASHINGTON (AP) — A man draped in an American flag climbed over the fence at the White House on Thursday, prompting a lockdown as the first family celebrated Thanksgiving.The man was immediately appre...
10:11PM ( 19 hours ago )