SACRAMENTO – On September 7, 2018, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the arrest of, and charges against, a family of four for human trafficking and other labor-related crimes. The four family members allegedly committed these crimes while operating Rainbow Bright, a California adult residential and child care company.
The defendants— Joshua, 42; Noel, 40; Gerlen, 38; and Carlina Gamos, 67 — were charged with a total of 59 criminal counts, including human trafficking and rape. The defendants are accused of targeting members of the Filipino community, many of whom were new to the United States, for labor exploitation.
While serving the arrest warrants, agents seized 14 illegal assault weapons. Of the 14 assault weapons, three were "ghost gun" rifles without serial numbers. Ghost guns allow individuals to bypass background checks and registration regulations.
“No worker in the United States should live in fear or be subjected to violence, abuse or exploitation at the hands of their employer,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The charges against the Gamos family members are despicable. We must not turn a blind eye to abusive labor practices. Report it, and we will investigate and prosecute.”
“Thank you to our CSLEA members who contributed to this year-long investigation which resulted in the rescue of individuals who were abused and understandably afraid,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “This investigation required the expertise of agents and investigators from many state departments.”
According to the complaint, Rainbow Bright employees were forced to work nearly 24 hours a day, slept on floors and in garages, and were locked outside in the rain when the owners were not home. Rainbow Bright executives deterred the employees from leaving the dismal working conditions by regularly threatening to turn the employees over to U.S. immigration officials and by confiscating some employees’ passports.
The charges come as the result of a year-long investigation by the California Attorney General’s Office Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force and involving the:
- San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office,
- S. Department of Labor,
- California Department of Industrial Relations,
- California Employment Development Department,
- California Department of Social Services,
- Pacifica Police Department,
- Daly City Police Department,
- South San Francisco Police Department.
The Department of Justice, Department of Tax and Fee Administration, Franchise Tax Board, and Employment Development Department pursued this case in partnership as part of the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force.