The authorities dismantled a band of labor exploiters who for several years subjected undocumented immigrants, forcing them to work long hours under physical and verbal abuse, and without giving them an adequate payment. Some employees were sexually violated.
The ads that appeared in a local newspaper promised a monthly salary of $ 1,200 – including food and shelter – for caring for children and the elderly in Northern California. But it was a trap: several undocumented immigrants ended up being victims of a gang that forced them to work up to 24 hours a day ; to avoid being reported, they confiscated passports and threatened to report them to the immigration authorities so they could be deported.
Behind this labor exploitation that occurred between 2008 and 2017 was a family of Filipinos who ran several child care and nursing homes in the San Francisco Bay area, according to an indictment issued Friday by the California Attorney General’s Office. .
The details described in that judicial complaint, the result of an investigation conducted by multiple government agencies over the course of a year, are shocking: they did not let the workers talk to each other and check their cell phones so they did not plan complaints, mistreat them physically and verbally calling them “stupid”, they punished them frequently by reducing their stunted wages, forced them to sleep on the floor and in the garages, and raped some employees.
To intimidate them, they assured that one of the members of that family had been a police officer or had contact with the law enforcement agencies and that, therefore, a report from him would result in the deportation of whomever complained. The majority of the victims were undocumented Filipinos, according to the State Attorney’s Office.
The ones mentioned are Joshua Gamos, 42 years old; Noel Gamos, 40; Gerlen Gamos, 38; and Carlina Gamos, 67. They all own the Rainbow Bright residential care centers and were arrested this Friday. Now they face 59 criminal charges, which include trafficking in persons, rape and grand larceny.
One of the defendants, Joshua, “regularly woke his 59-year-old domestic worker, ‘MC’, around 1:00 am to ask him to massage his legs until he fell asleep,” cites the complaint. of the Office of the Prosecutor. In addition, “he did not allow the employee to enter his house if he was not, therefore, she often stayed outside in the rain, cold and without food,” he adds.
For their part, the male employees were used as bricklayers, gardeners, drivers and cleaning “their luxury cars”, details the judicial complaint.
At the moment it is unknown how many people were victims of this human trafficking cell.
Debbie Lopez is a general assignment reporter at Seed Of Truth. She has covered sports, entertainment and many other beats in his journalism career, and has lived in City Houston for more than 8 years. Debbie has appeared periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) The National Post, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Wired.com, Vice and Salon.com.