Federal prosecutors in Kansas City say 12 people and three companies face charges alleging they were involved in a scheme to lure illegal immigrants to the U.S. to work as "modern-day slaves" in 14 states.
Prosecutors announced Wednesday that a federal grand jury in Kansas City had issued a 45-count indictment that included charges of labor racketeering, forced labor trafficking and immigration violations.
The government alleges many of the workers were threatened with deportation and forced to live in substandard apartments while working for inadequate pay.
The government says the conspiracy involved fraudulent labor leasing contracts in Missouri, Kansas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, South Carolina and Wyoming.
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