Man Sentenced on Human Trafficking, Drug Charges

A Tennessee man is going to prison for 50 years for kidnapping and forcing a teenager to become a prostitute.

A Dothan judge sentenced 28 year old Santiago Alonso to 40 years on the human trafficking charge, and another 10 years on drug charges.

Alonso, who is from Memphis, kidnapped a 17 year old girl from Meridian, Mississippi.

He took her to Memphis and Dothan, forced her into a life of drugs and sex, then made her give him the money she received.

The girl was able to escape from a Dothan motel, then walked 8 miles to another motel for help.

Investigators found evidence on Alonso's cellphone, including online ads he placed to prostitute the teen.

He is believed to be the first human trafficking arrest and prosecution under Alabama's 2010 human trafficking statute.

"I think the more publicity you get, the more information you get out there, the more law enforcement recognizes these cases for what they are, on the trafficking end of the equation instead of the prostitution end, and I think that's going to hopefully open the doors for some more recognition of what the issues are," said Banks Smith, Assistant District Attorney.

After this morning's sentencing, a defense attorney said Alonso's family may file an appeal.

Gov. Rick Scott signed 2 bills Tuesday, creating tougher penalties for human trafficking in Florida.


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