Seven charged in New York immigrant slave ringJuly 20, 1997
Web posted at: 7:20 p.m. EDT (2320 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Authorities have charged seven people with forcing a group of deaf-mute Mexican immigrants to work in what New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani described as "virtual slavery."
Four of those arrested Sunday were charged federally with conspiracy to smuggle aliens, said Mark Thorn, an Immigration and Naturalization Service spokesman in New York. He identified the four as: Alfredo Rustrian-Paoletti, Jose Paoletti-Lemus, Rosa Beltran-Sanchez and Refugio Gonzalez-Santa.
City police charged Adelja Paoletti, 67; with coercion and harassment, Adriani Paoletti, 29; coercion and grand larceny, and Raul Alanis, 24, with coercion and assault.
Police Saturday found 62 Mexicans, many of them mute and 10 of them children, crammed into two Queens apartments divided into cubicles, Giuliani said Saturday. The children ranged in age from 4 months to 7 years. The situation surfaced after four deaf-mute Mexicans walked into a Queens police precinct and -- communicating through sign language and written notes -- told a story of abuse and apparent slave-like work conditions.
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