Alabama woman gets 10 years for sex trafficking minor

Published 6:03 pm Monday, December 18, 2023

An Alabama woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison for admitting to sex trafficking a minor runaway.

On Monday, Acting United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross announced that a federal judge sentenced 27-year-old Laporchie Howard, a resident of Montgomery, Alabama, to 120 months in prison for her crimes.

Howard’s sentence follows her entering a guilty plea to the charge of sex trafficking a minor. During the December 15, 2023, sentencing hearing, the judge also ordered that Howard serve five years of supervised release following the prison term. Federal prisoners are not eligible for parole.

According to her plea agreement and other court records, in early 2017, Howard resided with two co-defendants — D’Vonte Lockley and Tracey Shannon — in an apartment located in Montgomery. Sometime before May 4, 2017, a female runaway under the age of eighteen and an adult female were invited to live with Howard at her apartment.

In her plea agreement, Howard acknowledged that she and her co-defendants knew that one of their new roommates was a minor.

In return for food and housing, the two new residents engaged in commercial sex at a Montgomery hotel.

Howard received the proceeds. In furtherance of the commercial sex trafficking enterprise, Howard sent various text messages to the other four residents and to customers directing some of the criminal activities.

She also set the prices of the commercial sex acts. With some of the proceeds, Howard purchased illegal drugs for herself and the two victims.

For over a month, the two victims’ commercial sex income was the sole source of support for all the residents in the apartment. Lockley and Shannon were previously sentenced for their involvement in the sex trafficking crimes.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Montgomery Police Department, and the Alabama Attorney General’s Office investigated this case, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

Assistant United States Attorneys J. Patrick Lamb and Tara S. Ratz for the Middle District of Alabama, and Assistant Attorney General Audrey Jordan of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case.