Ottumwa Couple Receives Sentence in Human Trafficking Case

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A couple living in Ottumwa received their sentence for coercing two men from Micronesia to work at JBS and keeping most of the men’s wages.

Nesly Mwarecheong, 46, and Bertino Weires, 51, received a two-year federal prison sentence and were ordered to pay the victims nearly $70,000 in restitution.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, the couple is citizens of Micronesia and U.S. residents who recruited two young men from Micronesia to come to Ottumwa to work, telling them they could send money back to their families in Micronesia.

The couple previously pleaded guilty in October 2022 to two counts of unlawful conduct with respect to documents in furtherance of trafficking or forced labor.

A deputy in the U.S. Justice Department says the defendants callously exploited the victims and used their power over them to profit from their hard work at the meat processing plant.

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