Vashon Island man arrested on ten federal charges related to human trafficking

A Vashon Island man was arrested Thursday on an indictment charging him with ten federal felonies related to human trafficking, according to the Department of Justice.

Jesus Ruiz-Hernandez, aka Christo Jesus Escobar Solares, 44, was indicted on Nov. 22 for transporting, harboring, and bringing an alien to the U.S. for financial gain.

The indictment also includes two counts of forced labor.

“Undocumented people are particularly vulnerable to forced labor schemes because they believe they do not have the same basic rights as U.S. citizens,” Brown said. “In this case, the grand jury found that Mr. Ruiz-Hernandez sought to enrich himself by forcing undocumented workers to labor for him and that he benefitted financially by bringing undocumented workers to Western Washington.”

According to the media release, Ruiz-Hernandez used force, threats of force, and physical violence to force an adult to work for him. The adult also suffered aggravated abuse.

He’s being charged with transporting the adult for financial gain, harboring them for financial gain, and bringing them to the U.S. for financial gain.

The indictment also alleges Ruiz-Hernandez forced a second victim to work for him, who was also threatened, transported, harbored, and brought to the U.S. for financial gain.

A third victim was also involved between May 2020 and Aug. 2021.

Forced labor is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If a jury finds the offense involved aggravated sexual abuse, he could be sentenced to life in prison.