On 25 December, the Guardian reported on 2 dozen defendants indicted on federal conspiracy charges in October 2021 based on findings from a multi-year investigation into a massive human smuggling and labour trafficking operation based in southern Georgia that extended to Florida and Texas, and where workers were smuggled in from Central American countries to the US and imprisoned as contracted farm workers. It found that the conspirators forced workers to pay fees for transportation to the US, food, and housing through the H2-A work visa programme, while withholding their travel and identification documents and forcing them to work for little to no pay in inhumane living conditions. They laundered the money through land, homes, over a dozen vehicles, the purchase of a restaurant and nightclub, and through a casino. Over 100 workers were freed from the operation.
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