published on August 30, 2017 - 12:57 PM
Written by Associated Press

(AP) — Federal prosecutors say nearly a dozen immigrant workers were rescued from a forced labor ring in Northern California.

The office of U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch says many of them lived in an industrial building in Hayward, California, that lacked running water and was locked from the outside at night.

Prosecutors claim the immigrants worked at construction projects in the San Francisco Bay Area and were paid less than minimum wage.

At least seven people were freed from the building and others were rescued from a nearby house.

Job Torres Hernandez of Hayward was indicted last week on charges that he harbored immigrants living in the country illegally for commercial advantage. Hernandez was arrested Tuesday.

Officials say the 37-year-old had at least five people concealed on his property since mid-2015.

Hernandez faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

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