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Forsyth County deputy among 3 charged with human trafficking

Couple forced nanny to work without pay, feds claim

POSTED: June 24, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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Forsyth County Deputy Russell Garrett, who along with his wife and father has been indicted by a federal grand jury on numerous charges.

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ATLANTA - A Forsyth County deputy, his wife and his father, who is a part-time Fulton County magistrate, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they lured a nanny from India and forced her to work in their home without pay.

Deputy Russell Garrett of Woodstock, his wife, Malika Garrett, of Woodstock and his father, D. William Garrett Jr., 72, of Alpharetta were indicted on charges including human trafficking, alien harboring and witness tampering.

U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said Wednesday that the three conspired to induce the woman to come to the United States in 2003 to work as a nanny for the younger Garretts' children, but later made her work up to 16 hours a day while threatening to have her jailed and deported.

"This type of abuse is insidious, as it preys upon those who are vulnerable due to their immigration status and unfamiliarity with this country's legal system," Nahmias said in a statement. "Not paying someone for their hard work and then threatening them with deportation if they report such abuse, is a violation of federal civil rights laws. The Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute this form of modern-day slavery."

According to Forsyth County Sheriff's Capt. Frank Huggins, Russell Garrett was employed by the department on Aug. 13, 2002, and is a Deputy Sheriff II. He is assigned to the Court Services Division.

Garrett has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation, according to Huggins.

The indictment released by the U.S. Attorney's office alleges that Russell and Malika Garrett intimidated the victim and threatened her with jail and deportation to control her.

The statement said the victim escaped the Garretts' home with help from a neighbor.

After her escape, the Garretts accused the victim of theft, reported her illegal status to federal officials and accused her of engaging in terrorism-related activities, according to the indictment.

It also charges that all three of the accused made false statements to the U.S. State Department to obtain a visa for the victim.

If convicted, Malika Garrett faces a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison. Russell Garrett could receive 50 years imprisonment and D. William Garrett 10 years.




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