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Feds Raid Florida Labor Camp To Rescue Slaves, Dent Human Trafficking

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posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 08:01 AM
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Feds Say Homeless Lured to Florida Labor Camp
CNN Sunday, June 5, 2005


EAST PALATKA, Florida (AP) -- Federal agents raided a migrant farm labor camp where homeless men and women were kept in what labor officials called a version of modern-day slavery.

Four people, including the camp's owner, Ronald Evans, face federal charges in a case that officials said is likely to grow. Investigators are looking into alleged environmental violations and drugs found at the camp in Friday's raid.

"The word is out that we are concerned about human trafficking, and we will leave no stone or camp unturned," said Steve Cole, a spokesman for Jacksonville U.S. attorney Paul I. Perez.

Officials said homeless people were recruited to the Evans Labor Camp through offers of room and board, along with alcohol, tobacco and drugs, which they bought on credit. But they never made enough in the field to pay it off, according to an investigative summary.

"A lot of times, they get them indebted even before they get back to the camp," federal agent Rebecca Hall said.

In a small central shed, investigators found about 100 rocks of suspected crack coc aine along with cigarettes and beer. Detective Lt. John Merchant described the shed as a "shop" where the rocks were sold for $20 each.

Department of Labor agents were joined in the raid by local officials and agents from the Environmental Protection Agency, which was investigating illegal dumping of raw sewage into a tributary of the St. Johns River.

"They've found what clearly looks like EPA violations, discharging raw sewage into the environment," said Putnam County Sheriff's Capt. Gary Bowling.

Seventy-eight potato field workers were interviewed at the compound south of Jacksonville. Some were arrested on unrelated, outstanding warrants.

Federal civil rights attorneys waited outside the camp to talk to the workers, offering them help getting out of the camp and finding other work. About 20 left with the attorneys.


How could this have even happened or gone on so long? Does the Florida Governor not read the news?

Slavery Alive in Florida Agriculture Industry
St. Petersburg Times, published July 3, 2002

Report: Modern Day Slavery Alive and Well in Florida
CNN, published February 25, 2004

An Examination of Slavery in Florida
Palm Beach Post, On-Going Reports

Now, wait just a minute!

Bush & Bush On Human Trafficking Concerns; Target Castro
Remarks at Official Event Are Tailored for Cuban Exiles in Florida and Religious Conservatives
Washington Post, published July 17, 2004

Target CASTRO!?!

Thank you Feds for getting around to Florida's slavery problem! I'm sure Jeb was busy.

And thanks to Lawyer to Capitalists for the links. See people? This is how you do it. Do what he did. Repeat often.




posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 08:19 AM
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Very deplorable!
Unfortunately, this is not something that is just in Florida.
Examples in Texas:
Officials Charge Alleged Sex-Slavery Ring Leaders
Sex-Slave-Ring Leaders Sentenced In Fort Worth
And more recently (although I cannot find a link to the story, Maybe Byrd can help as it was in the local news. In Dallas, about 6 weeks ago, a Korean businessman was arrested and 17 young korean girls were detained. The girls were in the US illegaly and were forced to work in a gentlemen's club for koreans.
So even in Bush's backyard, this type of slavery is going on.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 08:21 AM
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Wow! Eye opening!

I knew that human trafficking did go on in the US, but this aspect of it was completely unknown to me. Thanks for the story find... I think I'll do a little reading on this.

The Houston operation that was shut down was a massage parlor chain that was involved in prostitution and is suspected of smuggling in illegals to be used as prostitutes. The owner seemed to live high on the hog; his home safe had over $1 million of checks, cash, rare coins, collectables, and jewelry:
www.click2houston.com...

We're also one of the fine states providing Viagra to inmates....
sanantonio.bizjournals.com...

[edit on 6-6-2005 by Byrd]



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 08:22 AM
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Originally posted by RANT
How could this have even happened or gone on so long?
Does the Florida Governor not read the news?


How could this have even happened or gone on so long?
Does the population of the BLUE state of California not read
the news or know what is going on in their own state?

www.sweatshopwatch.org...

Heya' Rant. This illegal crap goes on everywhere - blue and
red states. It's disgusting. Where ever human beings are,
there is the potential for lies and abuse. It's the dark side
of human nature. This crap goes on all over the country.
It goes on all over the world. Example - Africa complains about
America's past slavery use and demands 'reparations' and yet
Africa STILL to this day has hundreds of thousands of Africans
living and working in legal slavery.

The president isn't responsible for local illegalities. I wouldn't
have expected Bill Clinton to clean up Florida or California's
illegal use of human beings .. and I don't expect George Bush
to do so either. That's the job of the Gov. and the FBI and
local law enforcement.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 08:23 AM
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Rant it does happen when I came to GA 9 years ago, I started working with a lawyer that specialized on migrant workers law.

Until that time I really believed that these types of camp were only heard off in California.

To my surprise they were wide spread here in Souther GA also. That is when laws were made to protect the migrant workers.

The stories of abuse, from women kept in these camps for prostitution, child sexual abuse and slavery was horrible.

The property owners will keep this people up to ten per three bedroom trailer with not heat or air conditioners.

All bunch together, children, women and men, children as old as 12 that never has been in school were working in this camps.

We worked with Social services and what they found in some of this camps will make third world countries look like haven.

None of these abuse really reached the news.

I am glad to say that thing has gotten better since laws were passed to protect them.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by kenshiro2012
Very deplorable!
Unfortunately, this is not something that is just in Florida.
Examples in Texas:
Officials Charge Alleged Sex-Slavery Ring Leaders
Sex-Slave-Ring Leaders Sentenced In Fort Worth


Great link additions.

I have to admit I thought Bush was nuts when he took that huge left turn in the middle of his 2003 UN Assembly address to notch Sex Tourism up as one of the top three rampant evils in the world.

Let's see it was terrorism, nuclear proliferation and the "special evil in the abuse and exploitation of the most innocent and vulnerable" as I recall.

And he did admit "[t]his problem has appeared in my own country, and we are working to stop it" before going on to ask for global standards; "The victims of this industry also need help from members of the United Nations. And this begins with clear standards and the certainty of punishment under laws of every country."

I just haven't heard of anything being done since until now. Not that being forced to pick produce for cigarettes and crack is the same "special evil" Bush was talking about involving sex, but it's still slavery. And it's pervasive.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 08:47 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
The president isn't responsible for local illegalities. I wouldn't
have expected Bill Clinton to clean up Florida or California's
illegal use of human beings .. and I don't expect George Bush
to do so either. That's the job of the Gov. and the FBI and
local law enforcement.


I believe I'm thanking the Feds that report to the President while bashing the do-nothing Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush.

If you'd like to add the corrupt Governator Schwarzenegger to the list, be my guest.


It's not like he's a stranger to inflicting human misery along the nature of sex crimes. Granted, he's no world traveling Neil Bush, but a sex tourist is a sex tourist whether in Thailand or LA. Right?



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