3 Human Trafficking Suspects Arrested, 6 Victims Rescued After Search Warrants Executed in Santa Clara County, Task Force Reports - NBC Bay Area
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3 Human Trafficking Suspects Arrested, 6 Victims Rescued After Search Warrants Executed in Santa Clara County, Task Force Reports

The task force started its investigation in July after receiving reports of human trafficking victims brought to the country from Spain, according to a sheriff's spokesperson.

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    A Santa Clara County task force targeting human trafficking executed search warrants at three South Bay sites and says it rescued six victims of alleged forced labor. Jean Elle reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015)

    A Santa Clara County task force targeting human trafficking executed search warrants at three South Bay sites Tuesday and says it rescued six victims of alleged forced labor.

    The task force reports three people were arrested at a San Jose home as well as a restaurant, TapOle, and a hair salon, Utopik, in Saratoga.

    Pedro Barea-Riva, 44, Esther Narboba-Sanchez, 44, and Paulino O'Farrell, 47, were arrested for human trafficking and booked into the county jail. All three suspects are from San Jose.

    The task force started its investigation in July after receiving reports of human trafficking victims brought to the country from Spain, sheriff's Sgt. James Jensen said Wednesday. One source told NBC Bay Area the setup was similar to "slave labor."

    While executing the warrants Tuesday, investigators were able to rescue three human trafficking victims and three wage theft victims, who were all adults and taken out of the businesses, Jensen said.

    O'Farrell is listed as the owner of the restaurant, according to county fictitious business name records.

    A witness in the human-trafficking investigation, a 23-year-old woman from Spain who did not want to be identified, said she answered an ad in December to work at TapOle and Utopik.

    "They would say we paid a lot for you," she said. "You have to pay us."

    The woman said the owners of the salon and restaurant paid her airfare and put her to work, but did not pay her.

    "I was in the salon 10 to seven, then to the restaurant to work until they close until 11 or 12," she said. "Long hours, no pay."

    The woman was one of several workers who contacted authorities in July, prompting an investigation.

    The task force is comprised of investigators from the sheriff's and district attorney's offices and the FBI.

    The victims are being offered resources through the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking.

    Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the task force at 408-918-4960 or humantrafficking@sheriff.sccgov.org.

    NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle and Bay City News contributed to this report.

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