Contractor gets jail time, probation for labor trafficking

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Crystal man will serve at least four months in jail for labor trafficking.

Forty-seven-year-old Ricardo Ernesto Batres also was sentenced Wednesday to five years probation.

Batres was accused of exploiting laborers at his construction company. A criminal complaint says the workers did not have authorization to be in the U.S. and when they complained about the conditions, Batres reported them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which deported some of them.

Batres pleaded guilty in November to labor trafficking and insurance fraud. Activists say the case is the first of its kind in Hennepin County and one of the few prosecuted in Minnesota.

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