Monday, July 17, 2006

Labor camp supervisor
pleads guilty to drug conspiracy

Last summer, federal agents raided this labor camp in East Palatka where homeless men and women were kept in what labor officials called "modern-day slavery."

A labor camp supervisor has admitted to supplying crack cocaine -- on credit, deducted from pay at the end of the week -- to farmworkers living on his father's North Florida labor camp.

Ronald Evans Jr., 32, has pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge in federal court. Ronald Evans Sr., 58, and his wife, Jequita, 45, face a trial in August. Prosecutors plan to upgrade the charges against the elder Evans, saying he ran a "continuing criminal enterprise," which carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

Homeless men and women were recruited through offers of room and board — including alcohol, tobacco and drugs — which they bought on credit and never made enough in the field to pay off. Many of the 78 workers found in the camp when it was raided last summer said they were living at homeless shelters in Jacksonville or Miami, even as far away as New Orleans, when they heard about a bus that would bring them to the fields.

Read the Florida Times-Union story here. And see previous posts here, here, here, here and here.


At 6:05 PM, Blogger Anonymous Law Student said...

Wow...that's....creepy. It almost sounds like indentured servitude.

At 1:19 AM, Blogger Jacqueline Dowd said...

The kind of human trafficking that gets all the ink (there's a dated phrase!) is sex slavery. But this stuff is real and it happens all too often in the fields and groves of Florida.


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