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CASE NAME:United States v. John Lester Harris
ALL PLAINTIFFS:United States
ALL DEFENDANTS:John Lester Harris, Dennis Warren, Richard Warren, Halsey Norwood
CITATION:
DOCKET NUMBER:82-5049, 82-5052, 82-5157, 82-5181, 81-11-CR-8
SOURCE:Lexis Search
TYPE OF CASE:Criminal
RELATED CASE CITATION:
TYPE OF TRIAL:Jury
TRIAL JUDGE(S):Wilson. W. Earl Britt
YEAR OF ARREST:1981
YEAR OF VERDICT:1982
TYPE OF COURT:Federal Court
STATE:North Carolina
FEDERAL DISTRICT:Eastern District Court
STATE COUNTY:
AGE OF VICTIM(S):
NUMBER OF VICTIMS:6 +
GENDER OF VICTIM(S):Male
VICTIM'S COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:Unknown
METHOD OF ENTRY INTO THE U.S.:Unknown
WAS VICTIM CHARGED WITH A CRIME:No
NUMBER OF DEFENDANT(S):4
GENDER OF DEFENDANT(S):Male
TYPE OF INDUSTRY:Labor
CASE CATEGORIZATION:Agricultural Industry
FIRST CHARGE:Conspiracy to Violate the Civil Rights of Individuals
FIRST CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 241
FIRST CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Verdict
FIRST CHARGE SENTENCE:
SECOND CHARGE:Holding Persons to Involuntary Servitude
SECOND CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 1583
SECOND CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Verdict
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THIRD CHARGE:Kidnapping and Carrying Away an Individual with the Intention of Holding him as a Slave
THIRD CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 1584
THIRD CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Verdict
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APPEAL:Yes
EXPLANATION OF APPEAL:Appealed Conviction
APPELLATE OPINION CITATION:701 F.2d 1095, 535 F. Supp. 1102
HOLDING OF APPEALS COURT:Afffirm in Part and Vacate in Part
APPEAL STILL PENDING?:
SUMMARY:Dennis Warren provided and supervised migrant farm workers for the farm of Cecil Williams in Nash County, North Carolina, during the summer of 1981. Dennis was assisted in supervising the workers with his brother Richard Warren, John Harris and Halsey Norwood. The workers were recruited by methods ranging from deception to kidnapping. The workers were charged for their consumption in the camp where they lived, and the costs were deducted from their wages. Wages were significantly reduced from expected levels on pay day. The workers were guarded at night and any who tried to flee were picked up and returned by Harris or others. Both actual and threatened violence were used to prevent workers from leaving or to force them to work faster. Workers who complained of illness or injuries were denied medical assistance. On September 13, 1981, Robert Anderson, a migrant worker from Philadelphia, died in a bus to which he had been taken after collapsing in the fields. Two autopsies established that the primary cause of death was heat stroke. His death and reports of civil rights violations at the farm precipitated an investigation of conditions at the camp by the FBI.
Approval Status:Approved
Approver Comments:
            
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