Thursday, February 29, 2024

Modern-Day Slavery Operation Uncovered, Thousands of Migrants Exploited in South Georgia.

For years, Mexican and Central American laborers have been brought to the U.S. to work on Georgia farms as modern-day slaves.

About two dozen human traffickers, who were part of the crime ring that enslaved the workers, are all facing felony charges, which include mail fraud and mail fraud conspiracy, forced labor and forced labor conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and witness tampering.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office believes this case is one of the country’s biggest human trafficking and visa fraud investigations.

The investigators uncovered inhumane living conditions such as filth, cramped space, and little access to safe water and food. Two workers died while others were kidnapped and raped, repeatedly.

While the migrants worked in Georgia’s farms as contract laborers, some of them dug onions with their bare hands for just 20 pennies per bucket while being threatened with guns. The traffickers also took away their passports and legal documents to keep them from escaping.

The migrants were forced to pay unlawful fees they couldn’t afford as well as forced to do extra work such as construction and were threatened with violence and deportation.

The traffickers made more than $200 million from selling and trading migrants to other traffickers.

David Estes, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, said in a statement, “Thanks to outstanding work from our law enforcement partners, Operation Blooming Onion freed more than 100 individuals from the shackles of modern-day slavery and will hold accountable those who put them in chains.”