12 indicted in human trafficking case
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Twelve people - eight of them from Uzbekistan - are accused in a federal indictment of luring illegal immigrants to the United States to work as "modern-day slaves" in 14 states.
Prosecutors announced yesterday that a federal grand jury in Kansas City issued a 45-count indictment May 6 under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act that included charges of labor racketeering, forced labor trafficking, and immigration violations.
Matt Whitworth, acting US attorney for the Western District of Missouri, said in a statement that the defendants used false information to obtain fake work visas for the foreign workers, who were then threatened with deportation while working for inadequate pay.
The indictment says the conspiracy involved fraudulent contracts in Missouri, Kansas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Wyoming.