© 2022 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Shasta Lake Couple Indicted For Keeping Guatemalan Family in Virtual Slavery

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California has arrested a Shasta Lake couple for allegedly keeping a Guatemalan family in virtual slavery.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California has arrested a Shasta Lake couple for allegedly keeping a Guatemalan family in virtual slavery.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California has charged a couple for allegedly taking advantage of a Guatemalan family by coercing them into the United States and forcing them to stay after their visas expired.

The indictment says that Nery and Maura Martinez promised the mother and her two children a more comfortable life with livable wages while they worked at a Mexican restaurant and carpet cleaning service in Shasta Lake. The couple owned Latino's Mexican Restaurant and Redding Carpet Cleaning & Janitorial Services.

The Guatemalan family instead endured long working hours for little or no pay as well as physical and emotional abuse. The couple kept the family in a dilapidated trailer with no running water and told them they’d be arrested by immigration authorities if they left. The children weren’t allowed to go to school.

If convicted, the couple could face up to 20 years in prison.
 

April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, she was a news host and reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.