A man has been charged with bringing a 16-year-old girl across state lines for the purposes of forcing her into servitude.
“It’s our first case of human trafficking here,” said sheriff’s investigator Jody Cavanaugh of the arrest of Isais Federico Dalano-Gabriel, 40, who was jailed over the weekend and charged with trafficking for forced labor. The felony could cost him up to six years in prison.
Cavanaugh said he was contacted by federal immigration agents and members of Homeland Security and told they had information Gabriel had transported the girl here from Charleston, S.C., with plans to force her to work.
“She was told the cost of their trip would cost $1,000 and she would have to work at a specified location in McMinnville to pay the debt,” Cavanaugh said, noting the place in question was a local restaurant. It is not alleged the girl was forced into sexual activity.
Cavanaugh said the girl and Gabriel were found at a residence on Cascade Avenue. The suspect was arrested and the girl was placed into foster care pending a hearing.
“The girl is here illegally from Guatemala,” the investigator said, noting she slipped over the border several months ago and had been living in Charleston until questions were asked about why she was with Gabriel since he isn’t her father. “They got spooked and he made contact with someone here and arranged for them to come to McMinnville.”
Cavanaugh said the girl had been cleaning houses in Charleston and had been sending part of her wages to her family in Guatemala.
As for Gabriel, his legal status is questionable. He was admitted nearly 20 years ago on refugee status, but failed to comply with the rules of his immigration. The fates of both Gabriel and the teen girl will be up to federal authorities.