Man Accused in Ohio Trafficking Scheme to Appear in Federal Court Friday

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MCALLEN – A man is expected to be in federal court in McAllen on Friday. He’s accused of taking part in an Ohio human smuggling and forced labor scheme.

An indictment says Pablo Duran Ramirez smuggled teens as young as 14 years old into the U.S.

He then allegedly forced them to work on an Ohio egg farm for little play.

The U.S. Justice Department said Ramirez was arrested Saturday by Border Patrol agents while trying to cross the border.

Duran, a U.S. citizen, is the fourth person arrested in the human smuggling ring.

Prosecutors said young men were lured to the U.S. with the promise of good jobs and schooling.

According to an indictment unsealed this week, the teens recruited were forced to live in rundown trailers with little to no heat, and little food.

The teens were then used to clean the chicken coops, de-beak the chicks and unload crates.

Prosecutors said the group operating the smuggling ring threatened the victims and their families.

The victims were rescued from the egg farm in 2014 following an investigation.

Duran faces charges of forced labor, conspiracy and encouraging illegal entry.

Prosecutors said there is a total of 35 victims, the youngest being 14 years old.

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