Carline Bontemps Ceneus, 32, of Miami, her brother Cabioch Bontemps, 34, of Lacrosse, and Willy Paul Edouard, 47, of Miami, were arrested earlier this summer after being indicted on charges of conspiring to commit forced labor and visa fraud. Ceneus was also charged with document servitude.
The alleged scheme was discovered when Alachua County Sheriff’s Detective Tyson Elliott received a tip from a nongovernmental social services provider who noticed the workers’ basic needs were not being met.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the scheme involved persuading 34 workers to travel from their native Haiti to Florida to take jobs the suspects reportedly told them were well-paying.
Specifically, federal officials said Ceneus and Edouard arranged for the workers to pay recruitment fees. The money for the fees apparently came from loan sharks who secured the loans with the victims’ property in Haiti.
Once the group arrived in Florida, officials said the suspects confiscated their passports and forced them to work on farms by threatening to report them to local agencies or threatening to have them deported to face their unpaid debts for their recruitment fees.
For Immediate Release
April 28, 2010
WASHINGTON—Sophia Manuel and Alfonso Baldonado Jr. have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges arising from a human trafficking scheme to hold Filipino nationals in forced labor in country clubs and hotels in Southeast Florida, the Justice Department announced. Continue reading →
Ashcroft on New Visa for Victims of Human Trafficking
(Announcement made at trafficking press conference)
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has announced the implementation of a special visa designed for victims of trafficking in persons who cooperate with law enforcement against those responsible for their enslavement. Continue reading →
May 20, 2008 | WASHINGTON – A former Miami-area middle school teacher, Maude Paulin, and her ex-husband, Saintfort Paulin, were sentenced today in federal court for committing federal civil rights offenses when they forced a young Haitian teenager to work as a domestic servant in their home, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Grace Chung Becker and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida R. Alexander Acosta. Continue reading →
Attorney Bryant Camareno with Alledged Sex Trafficker Colin Dyer
By HOWARD ALTMAN | The Tampa Tribune – Updated: 06/08/2010 07:21 pm
CLEARWATER – A down-on-her-luck exotic dancer, she thought she was heading toward a better life when the men came and picked her up, took her to a job interview at the Vegas Show Girls strip club in Pinellas County, then Apt. 219 on 49th Street in St. Petersburg – her new home. Continue reading →