American Justice Notebook

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Georgia Couple Charged With Labor Trafficking, Forced Labor and Alien Smuggling

A 16-count indictment was unsealed Monday charging a Georgia husband and wife with conspiring to commit labor trafficking, in addition to forced labor and alien smuggling, officials stated.

The crimes were allegedly committed in connection with the operation of two Mexican restaurants, Sabor A Mexico at 805 Floy Farr Parkway, Fayetteville, Georgia, and Sabor A Mexico at 7860B Ella Lane, Fairburn, Georgia. 

According to the indictment, between March 2021 and October 2022, Efrain Gonzalez, 40, and Estella Gonzalez, 34, both of Peachtree City, conspired to commit labor trafficking.

The indictment alleges that the couple used force, threats of force, coercion, and abuse of law and legal process to compel victims to engage in forced labor.

The indictment further alleges that the couple engaged in alien smuggling for commercial gain, alleging five counts of alien smuggling against Efrain Gonzalez and one count against Estella Gonzalez. 

The charge of forced labor carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, up to five years, and a fine of up to $250,000. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Annalise Peters and Trial Attorney Kate Hill of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit are prosecuting the case. 

To report human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.