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California

Immigrants rescued from forced labor ring, prosecutors say

Federal prosecutors say nearly a dozen immigrant workers living in squalid conditions were freed from a forced labor ring in Northern California.

The office of U.S. Atty. Brian Stretch says many of the people lived in an industrial building without running water that was locked from the outside at night and were allegedly exploited to work at construction projects around the San Francisco Bay Area.

At least seven people were freed from the building and others were rescued from a nearby house.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that building owner Job Torres Hernandez of Hayward was indicted last week on charges that he harbored undocumented immigrants for commercial advantage. Hernandez was arrested Tuesday.

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Officials said the 37-year-old had at least five people concealed on his property since mid-2015.

Hernandez faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.

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