Gang member sentenced to 18 years in human trafficking case

A Walton County man was sentenced May 23 in Washington County after pleading guilty to human trafficking charges and contributing to the delinquency of a minor with production of obscene material.

Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Christopher Patterson sentenced 32-year-old Michael Antoine Hill, of Defuniak Springs to 18 years which will be served in the Florida Department of Corrections and ordered him to be labeled as a sexual predator. Court costs of $4,688.43 were also ordered.

Hill’s crimes first came to the attention of law enforcement in April 2020 when Florida Highway Patrol attempted a traffic stop on Interstate 10 in Holmes County with Hill refusing to stop. The pursuit continued into Washington County, where he crashed and fled into the woods. Additional officers arrived on scene and discovered a minor female passenger, identifying the minor listed as a runaway from Department of Children and Families custody. Hill was a convicted felon at the time of the incident, having been identified as a “violent offender of special concern” and a member of the Brims, a subset of the Bloods criminal street gang.

Hill was originally charged with numerous other charges; however, the state dismissed all but the human trafficking and contributing to the delinquency of a minor with production of obscene material charges.

The original charges are as follows: Human trafficking; Deriving support from prostitution, Interference with custody, Contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Possession of child pornography, Production of child pornography, Forcing or compelling another to become a prostitute, Online solicitation of minor for sex acts, Transmission of material harmful to minors, Child abuse, Traveling to meet a minor for sex, Unlawful sexual activity with certain specified minors, and Unlawful use of two-way communication device.

View our previous story here.