clear
Thursday May 28th, 2015 4:08PM

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 AccessNorthGa.com
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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.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 ( 4 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 ( 4 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 ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Roosevelt Square re-design project nears reality
Architectural plans for the redesign of Roosevelt Square were finally presented to the Gainesville City Council members at their work session Thursday morning.
1:14PM ( 2 hours ago )
US jobless aid applications rose last week; total still low
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, though the overall level remains low and points to a healthy job market.Weekly applications increased 7,000 to a seasonally adj...
8:57AM ( 7 hours ago )
NE Ga.'s jobless rate drops in April; Gainesville metro has lowest rate in state
The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday morning that the unemployment rate for Northeast Georgia dropped for the month of April, and once again, the Gainesville Metro posted the lowest jobless rate of any metro in the state of Georgia.
By AccessWDUN staff
5:31AM ( 10 hours ago )
New federal rules on stream protection hailed, criticized
New EPA rules designed to better protect small streams, tributaries, wetlands and drinking water are being criticized by Republicans and farm groups.
5:00AM ( 11 hours ago )
Homeowners clean up in Texas; death toll climbs to 21
HOUSTON (AP) — Homeowners dragged soggy carpet to the curb and mopped up coffee-colored muck Wednesday after a barrage of storms and floods in Texas and Oklahoma left at least 21 people dead and 11 ot...
11:09PM ( 16 hours ago )