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February 9, 2009

Walnut Creek woman charged with human trafficking and forced labor

A Walnut Creek real estate agent and mother of three faces up to 40 years in prison after being charged with five counts alleging that she smuggled a Peruvian woman into the United States and forced her to work in slave-like conditions, taking care of her kids and doing her housework.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced today that a federal grand jury had returned a five-count indictment against Mabelle de la Rosa Dann, 45. The charges include forced labor, unlawful conduct regarding documents in furtherance of servitude, visa fraud, conspiracy to commit visa fraud and harboring an illegal alien for private financial gain.

Back in November, I described an affidavit filed by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement that says that Dann held a 30-year-old woman in virtual captivity with threats of deportation and criminal accusation if she fled her Walnut Creek apartment.

The nanny came to the United States in 2006. Dann worked with an acquaintance and a woman she hired to navigate the U.S. visa process to get the nanny a B-1 visitor visa. Once in the country, the nanny didn't get her own bedroom and bath in a large house. Instead she had to settle for a living room sofa, and later the living-room floor of a 900-square-foot apartment, where she was made to work most of the day caring for Dann's three children and doing all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry.

Dann is due back in court February 18.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My kids go to the same school as Dann's kids. I remember seeing the Nanny waiting in the hall for the younger twin boys, and seeing her walk them down the road toward their apartment complex.

Dann has a bit of a reputation of having a really screwed up sense of entitlement (ie: she's a poor working mom so everyone should help her) and being something of a demanding pain in the rear. She (Dann) still seems to think she's the victim here.

A possibility of 40 years in prison? Couldn't happen to a more deserving person.

Soccer Mom said...

Hello Anon:12:18:
Thanks for the comment, and your perspective. I know I should ask, but will anyway. Which school? You can always email me if you don't want to violate her kids' privacy by identifying their school in a public forum like this.

Those poor kids.

rahrfk said...

In all honesty I feel like human trafficking deserves a harsher sentence, like life. It's not a crime of passion, where one loses control for a second. She degraded this woman every day for years.

Anonymous said...

Same anonymous as the first comment...

I don't think her sentence needs to be anything more than the possible maximum of 40 years... a lot of it depends on if these charges can be considered "crimes of moral turpitude" in which case she could be looking at getting deported after she serves her time.