Foreman Pleads Guilty in Illegal Alien Slavery Case
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A former ranch foreman has pleaded guilty to helping enslave scores of illegal aliens.
Josue David Pinzon, 25, could get 11 1/2 years in prison and $610,000 in fines at sentencing July 27 on charges of conspiracy, harboring undocumented workers, failure to pay minimum wage and forcing workers to buy from a company store.
Pinzon was among 11 people charged with enslaving illegal aliens at a ranch near Camarillo, about 40 miles from Los Angeles.
″One down and 10 to go,″ Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol L. Gillam said after Pinzon entered the plea on Monday.
Prosecutors contend flower grower Edwin Mitchell Ives and his employees smuggled more than 100 illegals into the United States to work on Ives’ ranch.
They labored 16 1/2 hours a day, six days a week, for $50 a week after deductions, and were beaten, denied medical care and barred from leaving until they had paid their debts, including border-crossing fees, prosecutors said.
Ives’ company, one of the nation’s largest growers and processors of ornamental eucalyptus and baby’s breath, made up to $1 million a year in profits, prosecutors said.