Brutal and abusive toward workers, two dozen defendants were indicted this week in South Georgia. “The American dream is a powerful attraction for destitute and desperate people across the globe, and where there is need, there is greed from those who will attempt to exploit these willing workers for their own obscene profits,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David Estes. Also, they were indicted for money laundering and other financial crimes, echoing again how important it is for the financial sector to know about human trafficking.
Here’s more from the indictment: “Exploitation of the workers included being required to dig onions with their bare hands, paid 20 cents for each bucket harvested, and threatened with guns and violence to keep them in line. The workers were held in cramped, unsanitary quarters and fenced work camps with little or no food, limited plumbing and without safe water. The conspirators are accused of raping, kidnapping and threatening or attempting to kill some of the workers or their families, and in many cases sold or traded the workers to other conspirators. At least two of the workers died as a result of workplace conditions.”
Additional coverage on this issue….
Feds bust ‘modern-day slavery’ ring amid new immigration enforcement effort
Two dozen people were indicted in Georgia last month on charges of smuggling Mexican and Central American immigrants to the United States and forcing them to live in camps and work on farms in the state in what authorities say was an illegal enterprise akin to “modern-day slavery.”
Named “Operation Blooming Onion,” the yearslong probe brought together multiple federal agencies to investigate a “transnational criminal organization” that allegedly engaged in human trafficking, visa fraud, forced labor, mail fraud, money laundering and other crimes that earned the collaborators more than $200 million.