Judge, Deputy Son Charged with Human Trafficking

Updated 6/18/2008 12:08:15 PM

Posted By: Chris Sweigart

ATLANTA -- A retired Magistrate Judge, his son -- who is a sheriff's deputy -- and the deputy's wife have been indicted on charges of human trafficking, United States Attorney David Nahmias' office said Wednesday morning.

D. William Garrett, 72, a retired Fulton County Magistrate Judge; his son, 43-year-old Russell Garrett who is a Forsyth County Sheriff's Department Deputy; and the deputy's wife, 42-year-old Malika Garrett, have all been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of human trafficking, alien harboring, witness tampering, and making false statements, Nahmias' office said.

According to Nahmias' office, the Garretts convinced an Indian national to come to the United States in January of 2003 under the false impression that she would be Russell and Malika Garrett's nanny. The Garretts allegedly stopped paying the victim for her work as a nanny and threatened her freedom if she refused to work for them.

"This case is an example of alleged domestic servitude of a nanny brought over from India," Nahmias said. "This type of abuse is insidious, as it preys on those who are vulnerable due to their immigration status and unfamiliarity with the United States legal system."

The indictment alleges that the Garretts insulted the victim, intimidated her, and threatened her with jail and deportation, Nahmias' office said.

"Not paying someone for their hard work and then threatening them with deportation if they report such abuse is a violation of civil rights law," Nahmias added.

The victim was reportedly able to escape in June 2005, thanks to the assistance of a neighbor.

Russell and D. William Garrett are also accused of lying to the Department of State to get a visa for the victim. With that application, they attached documents showing that they were in law enforcement, Nahmias' office said.

Malika Garrett is also reportedly accused of lying to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, claiming that the female victim should be investigated for possible terrorism.

Malika Garrett could face 60 years in prison. Russell Garrett could face 50 years in prison, while his father could face 10 years in prison, Nahmias' office said.

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