08/16/12 Human Trafficking


Human trafficking is among the most heinous criminal acts.  Foreigners are transported into the U.S. to work under inhumane conditions. Many in the sex trade.  Slavery in America didn’t end in 1865.

Two years ago, the FBI announced the largest human trafficking case in U.S. history.  As many as 600 workers from Thailand were allegedly brought to the U.S. to work in farms in Hawaii and Washington state.

According to authorities, the ringleaders fraudulently induced workers to incur substantial debts, confiscated passports, and threatened workers with physical harm.  Many lived in decrepit and crowded housing infested with rats.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Global Horizon and 8 associates, including the owner.  Global Horizon brought the workers to the U.S.

An administrative law judge issued a $350,000 judgment against Global Horizons for failing to fully pay just some of the Thai workers.

Last year, three of the 8 suspects plead guilty to criminal charges of human trafficking.

Then, last month, the Justice Department quietly dropped the case and allowed the three to withdraw their guilty pleas. The federal prosecutor committed serious legal mistakes.

This is the latest in a series of bungled high-profile cases by DOJ’s Civil Rights Division (here, here & here). 

The consequences aren’t just sad.  They’re catastrophic.