JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Ronald Evans Sr., 60, was convicted in August on 57 charges of engaging in a criminal enterprise, distributing crack cocaine, dealing in contraband, spoiling the environment, violating federal farmworker statutes and more than four dozen counts of improper financial transactions.
Ronald, the owner of two migrant labor camps in Florida and North Carolina has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for hiring these drug addicts and homeless people at minimum wages then selling them crack cocaine and beer at inflated prices.
Mr. Evans' attorney, William Kent, said his client planned to appeal the judgment and the sentencing on Friday.
Mr. Evans' two labor camps in East Palatka, Fla., and Newton Grove, have been forfeited to the government, and he and his wife, Jequita, a co-defendant, must also hand over $1.1 million, The Miami Herald reported.
She was found guilty of the 49 of the 51 charges against her and will be sentenced next month.
The couple recruited men from homeless shelters, charged them $50 a week for room and board and put them to work in potato and cabbage fields for minimum wages. At the end of the work day, workers were allowed to purchase crack cocaine, cigarettes and beer at inflated prices on credit, authorities said.
When they were paid on Saturday, workers often found they owed money to Mr. Evans and his wife.
"Everyone realized this was an abhorrent act," U.S. Attorney Paul I. Perez said.