By Katy St. Clair | Bay Metropolis Information
A former particular agent with the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety whose undisclosed relationship with a federal witness led to a human trafficker being launched from jail early was sentenced to 2 months in jail on Wednesday, the U.S. Division of Justice for the Japanese District of California stated.
Melissa Saurwein, 45, of Martinez, was previously a particular agent in Northern California. Saurwein developed a sexual relationship with a sufferer witness within the case towards Job Torres Hernandez, a Hayward contractor who ran building companies that exploited laborers.
In preparation for her testimony at trial, prosecutors requested Saurwein if she had a private relationship with any witness or sufferer within the case. She then lied about her romantic relationship with a sufferer witness. The reality didn’t come to mild till after the trial and sentencing of the defendant, prosecutors stated.
As a result of her falsehood, the judgment within the human trafficking case was vacated, with the Torres Hernandez having solely served three years of his eight and a half-year sentence.
Torres Hernandez was convicted of exploiting undocumented employees in 2019.
Based on the DOJ, Torres Hernandez “stored the employees in squalid situations and shielded them from detection whereas making them work so long as 24 consecutive hours at a time. Many victims testified at trial, with the help of an interpreter, about how Torres handled them. Witnesses testified that Torres paid them far lower than what he had promised to pay them, and after they complained, Torres threatened them or their relations.”
The U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace recused itself from this case and it was turned over to the U.S. District Court docket in San Francisco, in keeping with the Division of Justice.
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