Gee!!!!!what are the chances of that happening ....black market cannabis and human trafficking .....no really!!!!!.....usually it all encompasses each other ......no surprises here i am afraid ....criminals have no limits ........
MOJAVE DESERT, Calif. — As more states legalize cannabis, law enforcement officials say they are seeing an uptick in black market operators using suspected human trafficking victims to grow and trim marijuana sold in legal dispensaries.
But authorities and advocates say helping these victims can be complicated because many don't admit to being trafficked and are unwilling to work with law enforcement agencies to take down smugglers and dealers.
Nine of those suspected victims were arrested during an early morning raid in May in California's Mojave Desert. The cannabis workers, all Chinese nationals who had traveled from New York, attempted to flee as law enforcement officials executed a search warrant on the secluded farm.
Speaking through a Mandarin translator, one woman said she found the job through a Chinese website. Some listings reviewed by NBC News did not mention specific salaries, and others said they could be negotiated in person.
“I have no money. What hope do I have?” said a worker named Jin, who asked to be identified only by his first name.
All the workers apprehended said they had previously been employed in restaurants before making the trek west; several said they were eager to return to relatives on the East Coast. None had been paid for their labor and they were living in cramped, uncomfortable trailers near the illegal grow operation.
A worker named Fang, who also asked to be identified only by her first name, said she left her 8-year-old son behind in New York.
“It’s very dirty, it’s very messy,” she said of the trailer where she had been sleeping.
When asked if she had been told the truth about the kind of work she would be undertaking, Fang said no.
Fang, Jin and the other workers were charged with misdemeanors and later released, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The workers had been tending to 25 greenhouses, where law enforcement officials said they recovered about 1,000 pounds of processed marijuana. The facility likely generated $8 million in revenue quarterly, officials said.