A Haitian man has been sentenced to 16 years in an American prison for taking U.S. citizens hostage in Haiti in 2012.

Forty-seven-year-old Samson Jolibois (zhoe-lee-BWAH') of Port-au-Prince was sentenced Friday in federal court in Alexandria. The 16-year term was in line with prosecutors' request. The defense had sought 12 years.

Prosecutors say Jolibois was part of a group that targeted U.S. citizens of Haitian descent for kidnappings on the assumption they would be wealthy enough to pay ransoms.

Jolibois admitted participating in two separate kidnappings in 2012 in the Carrefour region of Haiti. Both women were naturalized U.S. citizens of Haitian descent who were visiting family.

In one case, the woman's family paid a $20,000 ransom. In the other, Haitian police rescued the hostage after three days of captivity.