Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Jonathan Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Jesus Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Ft. Lauderdale returned an indictment charging Willie and Marie Pompee with harboring a young Haitian girl in their South Florida home, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324. If convicted, the Pompees each face a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000, plus restitution to the victim.
According to the indictment, the Pompees, husband and wife, concealed the child from 1996 until1999, when the child, then12, was removed from the Pompee home by local police. They allegedly used the child as a household servant after she was smuggled into the United States from Haiti, where she and her mother had performed similar work for Marie Pompee’s mother and sister. The child was rescued from the Pompee home after she told her school teacher that she was being sexually abused by a member of the household. Both Willie Pompee, Sr., and his eldest son fled the country in 1999 after the child was removed from their Pembroke Pines home. Marie Pompee made her initial appearance in federal district court in Ft. Lauderdale on March 22, 2004.
Trafficking in persons – also known as “human trafficking” – is a form of modern-day slavery. According to recent U.S. government estimates, 18,000 – 20,000 persons are trafficked into the United States each year for purposes of sexual exploitation or forced labor.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott Ray.