A 16-count indictment was unsealed today charging a Georgia husband and wife with conspiring to commit labor trafficking, in addition to forced labor and alien smuggling, in connection with their operation of two Mexican restaurants, Sabor A Mexico at 805 Floy Farr Parkway, Fayetteville, Georgia, and Sabor A Mexico at 7860B Ella Lane, Fairburn, Georgia.
According to the indictment, between March 2021 and October 2022, Efrain Gonzalez, 40, and Estella Gonzalez, 34, both of Peachtree City, conspired to commit labor trafficking. The indictment alleges that the couple used force, threats of force, coercion and abuse of law and legal process to compel victims to engage in forced labor. The indictment further alleges that the couple engaged in alien smuggling for commercial gain, alleging five counts of alien smuggling against Efrain Gonzalez and one count against Estella Gonzalez.
The charge of forced labor carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, up to five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia, and Special Agent in Charge Katrina Berger of HSI Atlanta made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Annalise Peters and Trial Attorney Kate Hill of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit are prosecuting the case.
Anyone who believes that they may have been a victim of this case or may have relevant information to share is asked to call the HSI tip line at 866-DHS-2423.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.