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California couple gets federal prison in forced labor case

Justice (FILE)
Posted at 3:51 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 18:51:08-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California couple has been sentenced to federal prison for conspiring to force a Guatemalan relative and her two daughters to work long hours for little or no pay.

Nery Martinez Vasquez was sentenced Monday to 6 1/2 years in prison and Maura Martinez to three years in prison.

They pleaded guilty in August.

Federal prosecutors say the Shasta County couple promised their relative a “better life” if she came to America in September 2016 with her two daughters, then ages 15 and 8.

But they then forced the three to overstay their visas and work at their businesses.