Trafficking in persons

John Doe v. Moises Rodriguez

Fact Summary

Defendants contracted with smugglers to bring Plaintiffs across the US-Mexico border in order to work on their farms in Colorado.  When they reached their living quarters, the "compound," the Plaintiffs were informed that they owed a debt of $1300 to the Defendants for their transportation costs.  In Colorado, Plaintiffs lived 4-6 to a room, and some people were forced to sleep on the floor each night.  The water on the compound was undrinkable.  The bathrooms and showers were grossly inadequate and the entire compound was infested with insects.
The farms on which Plaintiffs worked were 60 to 90 minutes away from the compound.  Between traveling and working on the crops, Plaintiffs were on duty for over 16 hours, 6 or 7 days a week.  Plaintiffs believed that they would be found and harmed if they left the Defendants' company; they also believed that if they left, their co-workers would be forced to pay off their debts.  Defendants also brought guns to work, and at least once, fired the gun to prove that it worked.  Defendants were insulting, threatening and harmful to Plaintiffs, in order to keep them in fear.
Plaintiffs were paid once a month, and their pay was reduced through a variety of illegal deductions for rent, cleaning, tools, travel, the repayment of the smuggling fee, etc.  Social Security was also deducted, fraudulently, since none of the Plaintiffs had Social Security numbers.  The number of hours each Plaintiff worked was rounded down--with many days clocking in at exactly 12 hours.
In October of 2005, Plaintiffs escaped from the Defendants and started this action.  In 2009, the court entered a default judgment for Plaintiffs.

Author:
Human Trafficking Database of the University of Michigan Law School

Keywords

Acts:
Recruitment
Transportation
Transfer
Harbouring
Receipt
Means:
Abuse of power or a position of vulnerability
Purpose of Exploitation:
Forced labour or services
Form of Trafficking:
Transnational
Sector in which exploitation takes place:
Agriculture
Begging
Construction
Commercial sexual exploitation

Victims / Plaintiffs in the first instance

Plaintiff:
5 Individuals
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
Mexican

Defendants / Respondents in the first instance

Respondent:
Moises Rodriguez
Gender:
Male
Legal Reasoning:

The defendant was found liable for all claims under the statutes.

Respondent:
Maria Rodriguez
Gender:
Female
Legal Reasoning:

The defendant was found liable for all claims under the statutes.

Respondent:
Andrew L. Grant
Gender:
Male
Legal Reasoning:

The defendant was found liable for all claims under the statutes.

Respondent:
Grant Family Farms. Inc
Legal Reasoning:

The defendant was found liable for all claims under the statute.

Charges / Claims / Decisions

Respondent:
Moises Rodriguez
Charge / Claim:
Fair Labour Standards Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

29 USC 206

Charge / Claim:
Migrant and Seasonal Workers Protection Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

29 USC 1821

Charge / Claim:
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) Violations - Trafficking Victims Protection Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 1589

Respondent:
Maria Rodriguez
Charge / Claim:
Fair Labour Standards Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

29 USC 206

Charge / Claim:
Migrant and Seasonal Workers Protection Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

29 USC 1821

Charge / Claim:
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) Violations - Trafficking Victims Protection Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 1589

Respondent:
Andrew L. Grant
Charge / Claim:
Fair Labour Standards Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

29 USC 206

Charge / Claim:
Migrant and Seasonal Workers Protection Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

29 USC 1821

Charge / Claim:
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) Violations - Trafficking Victims Protection Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 1589

Respondent:
Grant Family Farms. Inc
Charge / Claim:
Fair Labour Standards Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

29 USC 206

Charge / Claim:
Migrant and Seasonal Workers Protection Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

29 USC 1821

Charge / Claim:
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) Violations - Trafficking Victims Protection Act Violations
Legislation / Statute / Code:

18 USC 1589

Court

United States District Court for the District of Colorado

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