Human trafficker receives sentence

Ruperto Moncillo Flores
Ruperto Moncillo Flores

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A man who pleaded guilty after being arrested as part of a multi state kidnapping and human trafficking investigation last June received his sentence Thursday afternoon by the United States District Court in Hattiesburg.

Ruperto Moncillo Flores was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison. Upon release, he will be placed on three years supervised release.

Flores and Jacobo Francisco were arrested in June after a woman walked into the Hattiesburg Police Department and said she had been abducted in Panama City, Florida.

The woman was a witness in a prior human trafficking case, leading to convictions in Tennessee and Kentucky.   Assistant US Attorney Annette Williams said Flores was not aware of the abduction but was asked to caravan the woman to Louisiana for prostitution.

Flores was arrested in Jones County when his van broke down on Interstate 59 before picking up the kidnapping victim. Another woman was with him at the time and said he was taking her to Louisiana for prostitution, according to authorities. Flores pleaded guilty in October to a violation of the federal Mann Act for transporting that woman.

Feliciano-Franciso, also known as Uriel Castillo-Ochoa, was charged last August in U.S. District Court in Panama City, Fla. with kidnapping the witness. He pleaded not guilty to five charges, including kidnapping and retaliating against a witness.

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