Feds indict a Fulton County Magistrate Judge, William Garrett, and his family, consisting a Forsyth County Deputy Sheriff, on human trafficking charges. From the U.S. Attorney’s, Northern District of Georgia’s, office today:
THREE FAMILY MEMBERS INDICTED ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND RELATED CHARGES
Atlanta, GA – MALIKA GARRETT, 42, of Woodstock, Georgia, her husband, RUSSELL GARRETT, 43, a Forsyth County Deputy Sheriff, also of Woodstock, Georgia, and her father-in-law, D. WILLIAM GARRETT, Jr., 72, a Fulton County Magistrate Judge, of Alpharetta, Georgia, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in a nine-count indictment, charging the defendants with human trafficking, alien harboring, witness tampering, and making false statements.
United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said of the case, “This case is an example of alleged domestic servitude of a nanny brought over from India. 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. 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 United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: The indictment alleges that in January 2003, all three defendants conspired to encourage and induce the victim, a female Indian national, to enter the United States under false pretenses for the purpose of serving as a nanny for MALIKA and RUSSELL GARRETT’s children. According to the indictment, MALIKA and RUSSELL GARRETT later stopped paying the victim for her work as a nanny, significantly curtailed her freedom and ability to leave their home, and threatened to malign her to her family in India if she did not work for them. MALIKA and RUSSELL GARRETT compelled the victim to work in their home for up to 16 hours a day, nearly every day. The indictment further alleges that, to control the victim, MALIKA and RUSSELL GARRETT insulted her, intimidated her, and threatened her with jail and deportation. With the assistance of a neighbor, the victim escaped the GARRETTS’ home.
In addition, the indictment alleges that after the victim escaped, MALIKA and RUSSELL GARRETT conspired to spread vicious, false rumors about her in her Atlanta neighborhood and her Indian community, and that they falsely accused the victim of theft to local authorities; reported the victim’s illegal status to federal authorities; and falsely accused the victim of engaging in terrorism-related activities to the Department of Homeland Security.
Finally, the indictment alleges that RUSSELL GARRETT and D. WILLIAM GARRETT made false statements to the Department of State to obtain a visa for the victim in which they attached documents showing that they were in law enforcement, namely, for RUSSELL GARRETT, a photocopy of his Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Badge, and, for D. WILLIAM GARRETT, a photocopy of his Certificate of Training from the Georgia Magistrate Courts Training Council; that MALIKA GARRETT made false statements to the Department of Homeland Security to obtain a visa extension for the victim; and that MALIKA GARRETT made false statements to the Department of Homeland Security and to the Department of Justice, claiming that the female victim should be investigated for possible terrorism.
If convicted, MALIKA GARRETT faces a maximum penalty of 60 years’ imprisonment; RUSSELL GARRETT faces a maximum penalty of 50 years’ imprisonment; and D. WILLIAM GARRETT faces a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan Coppedge, and Trial Attorney Kathleen J. Monaghan, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
For further information please contact David E. Nahmias (pronounced NAH-me-us), United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan.