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CASE NAME:Javier Hernandez v. Maria Garcia-Botello
ALL PLAINTIFFS:JAVIER HERNANDEZ, HECTOR HERNANDEZ, MIGUEL PEREZ, SERGIO ROSALES CUELLO, JUVENTINO CAZUELA, JUAN ANTONIO GARCIA, JONAS GERONIMO DOMINGUEZ, LAZARO PEREZ RODRIGUEZ, BALDEMAR CACHO VELEZ, MARCOS CACHO VELEZ, DANIEL VICTORIA LEON, and AGUSTIN SAN JUAN, and others
ALL DEFENDANTS:MARIA GARCIA-BOTELLO (AKA Chabela), ELIAS BOTELLO, JOSE J. GARCIA (AKA JJ), JOSE I. GARCIA, ROGELIO ESPINOZA, ANTHONY PIEDIMONTE, BRUCE KIRBY, DAVID PIEDMONT, RODNEY WINKSTERN, DEL MAR FARMS, INC., FRANCIS DOMOY, STEPHEN HOWARD, HOWARD PRODUCE SALES, INC., JAMES KIRBY, PHILIP VIGNERI, PATSY VIGNERI & SONS, INC., RONALD E. WEILER d/b/a RONCLAR FARMS, ROBERT VENDETTI, PENNA'S FARMS, NICHOLAS PENNA, MARKY'S & SONS, INC., JOHN J. KASMER FARM, LLC, ROOTS BROTHERS FARMS, NORMAN FARMS, JIM NORMAN, CAROLYN NORMAN, HEARNES PRODUCE, JOHN HEARNES, ELIZABETH HEARNES, SAFFOLD FARMS, BILL SAFFOLD, JIM BRADWELL, PICKLE BOB, TAYLOR, GUSTAVO, and RODNEY & SUE
CITATION:2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10029
DOCKET NUMBER:02-CV-0523(S)(Sr), 02 Civ. 0523(S)(Sr), 02-CV-523S
SOURCE:Lexis Search, Westlaw, article by Farmworker Legal Services of NY
TYPE OF CASE:Civil
RELATED CASE CITATION:Yes (citation unknown)
TYPE OF TRIAL:
TRIAL JUDGE(S):William M. Skretny, H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr.
YEAR OF ARREST:2000
YEAR OF VERDICT:
TYPE OF COURT:Federal
STATE:New York
FEDERAL DISTRICT:Western District Court
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AGE OF VICTIM(S):Adult and Minor
NUMBER OF VICTIMS:12
GENDER OF VICTIM(S):Male
VICTIM'S COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:Mexico, possibly elsewhere as well
METHOD OF ENTRY INTO THE U.S.:
WAS VICTIM CHARGED WITH A CRIME:
NUMBER OF DEFENDANT(S):22
GENDER OF DEFENDANT(S):Female and Male
TYPE OF INDUSTRY:Labor
CASE CATEGORIZATION:Agricultural Industry
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FIRST CLAIM:RICO violation
FIRST CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. §§ 1962(c), 1962(d)
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SECOND CLAIM:Extortion
SECOND CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 1951
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THIRD CLAIM:Involuntary servitude
THIRD CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 1584
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FOURTH CLAIM:Forced labor
FOURTH CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 1589
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FIFTH CLAIM:Wire fraud
FIFTH CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 1343
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SIXTH CLAIM:Larceny by extortion; Kidnapping
SIXTH CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:N.Y. Penal Law §§ 155.05(2), 155.30(6), 155.40(2)(b); N.Y. Penal Law §§ 135.20 and 135.25
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SUMMARY:

Defendants would travel to Mexico to recruit farm workers. Plaintiffs were held in debt peonage upon arriving in the U.S. Among the Defendants are both labor contractors and farms. Defendants “conducted and operated a criminal worker-exploitation scheme.” (Plaintiffs’ Compl. Oct. 2005.) Defendants threatened Plaintiffs with force (including discussing guns in front of Plaintiffs) and some were physically abused. They were forced to live under inhumane and unsanitary conditions, without sufficient bed space, water, or food. Some of the victims were told that they would be deported if they were to escape and/or report the situation. Defendants were not paid for all of their work. Four years after Farmworker Legal Services of New York (FLSNY) began monitoring the sites at which Plaintiffs worked, six workers escaped and contacted FLSNY.

Plaintiffs claimed violations of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (AWPA), 29 U.S.C.  1801. Plaintiffs' motions for an expedited hearing and for extension of time to file a motion for class certification were denied in February 2007.

Named Defendants Maria Garcia-Botello, Elias Botello, and Jose J. Garcia had pled guilty to related criminal charges in 2004 (forced labor, harboring illegal aliens). Garcia-Botello got four years in prison. Her son Elias got thirty-seven months, her son Jose and her husband got less than one year.

Approval Status:Approved
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