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Published On: Fri, Sep 18th, 2015

Michigan man, Jonathan Purnell, sentenced in human trafficking charges

The third person in a Lansing-based sex-trafficking ring has been sentenced to prison.

Jonathan Purnell, 28, of Lansing, was sentenced to 5½ years to 20 years in prison Wednesday by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk.

Purnell pleaded guilty last month to two counts of transporting a female for purposes of prostitution as part of a plea agreement. Purnell used Backpage.com with two others to advertise at least eight girls and one adult, ages 15 to 17, according to the court documents.

“Yes ma’am I am guilty of those offenses,” Purnell said during the plea bargain hearing. “I did aid and assist somebody to transport a prostitute.”

These girls were enticed or forced into prostitution.

He was facing 13 charges for human trafficking and encouraging minors to become prostitutes, among others.

Purnell is the third person to be sentenced in connection with the ring.

Christopher Bryant, 25, of Lansing, was convicted in federal court in December on multiple counts of sex trafficking. He was sentenced in May to 40 years in prison.

Mariah Haughton, 18, of Lansing, pleaded guilty in June to human trafficking and transporting of a female for prostitution. She was sentenced last month by Draganchuk to four to 20 years in prison.

“What they were doing was they were enticing young girls, often under age girls, into a life of prostitution,” explained Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings. “And, they provided them with cash and other luxuries and they would pimp them out.”

 Photo/Vectorportal via wikimedia commons

Photo/Vectorportal via wikimedia commons

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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