By: April Carson
A recently revealed indictment claims that various federal law enforcement agencies discovered what they consider to be one of the United States' biggest instances of human trafficking and visa fraud, according to VICE.
As the outlet states:
Some of the defendants in Georgia's onion fields as contract laborers dug onions with their bare hands for a few cents per bucket, according to the complaint. The indictment claims that members of an accused human smuggling and labor trafficking organization retained their passports and paperwork to prevent them from fleeing.
The inquiry, dubbed "Operation Blooming Onion," resulted in the indictment of 24 alleged members and associates of a transnational criminal organization known as the Patricio transnational criminal organization, according to the feds.
Maria Leticia Patricio, a 70-year-old defendant who is described as one of the petitioners, is charged with submitting fraudulent applications for the H-2A work visa program, which allows employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to work in seasonal agricultural labor.
Some were even “illegally forced to do lawn care, construction, and restaurant work; and others were threatened with violence or deportation,” according to the indictment.
According to the Department of Justice, the employees were kept in “cramped, unhygienic quarters and fenced work camps with little or no food, no plumbing and no safe water."
Workers were "illegally sold and traded to other conspirators within the crime syndicate... who made more than $200 million as a result of the fraud."
Law enforcement began looking into the organization in November 2018. As per the indictment, 24 people were targeted for human trafficking.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine said that "this case has uncovered what appears to be a modern-day slavery operation."
"These defendants allegedly forced dozens of men and women to work against their will for little or no pay, and in some cases threatened them with violence or deportation if they did not comply," he said in a statement.
The indictment alleges that a large number of undocumented Hispanic migrants were exploited in the scheme, and would be transported in across various cities including Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas and others.
According to the Department of Justice, some of the workers were "forced to live in deplorable conditions, without food or water, and threatened with violence if they did not comply."
The indictment also charges the defendants with money laundering and wire fraud.
432hz Healing Meditation by Billy Carson Replay
About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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