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6 Youths Allegedly Tricked Into Working

Six low-income New Mexico youths who were promised a trip to Disneyland were instead put to work by a “silver-tongued devil” selling candy for 10 hours a day in Los Angeles area shopping centers, sheriff’s deputies said Friday.

Gary Steven Davis, 37, was arrested Thursday after one of his charges tried to sell a sheriff’s detective a $5 chocolate bar in a parking lot of a Diamond Bar K-Mart, said the detective, Manny Madrid.

The youth and five friends, ages 11 to 16, had been in Southern California since Sunday, dropped off each day by Davis in various shopping centers to hawk their candy bars for as long as 10 hours. Davis allowed the boys a $1.50 profit on each bar sold, but charged each $4 a day for a motel room and did not provide food.

Davis had allegedly promised the children’s parents that he was taking them to Southern California to treat them to a day at Disneyland. Instead he put them to work, sometimes unsupervised and alone, working as “indentured servants,” Deputy Dean Scoville said. “From what I understand, he was a silver-tongued devil,” he said.

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