Last of 10 wanted in fish market child labor case arrested
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say the last of 10 people wanted in connection with a religious organization that police say forced children to work in North Carolina fish markets has been arrested.
The Fayetteville Observer reports that the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said 64-year-old Earlene Elizabeth Hayat surrendered to deputies on Tuesday.
Hayat had been wanted in connection to an operation that investigators say forced children to work for little or no money. She is charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.
Investigators say she was a follower of John C. McCollum, who they said also threatened the children with violence or loss of their food if they refused to work.
McCollum, who is jailed on a $1.1 million bond, told authorities he doesn’t think he committed any crimes.
Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com