AG’s Office investigating cannabis facility for potential wage theft, trafficking
ESTANCIA, N.M. — The New Mexico Attorney General’s office is investigating a cannabis facility in Torrance County for alleged wage theft and human or labor trafficking, according to spokesperson Lauren Rodriguez.
“Our special agents, along with state and federal law enforcement partners from multiple agencies, are currently evaluating evidence recently recovered from the facility to determine if there have been any violations of the law,” Rodriguez said. “This is an open and active investigation.”
KOB 4 spoke to several residents in Estancia who reportedly witnessed a raid at a facility near the community Wednesday morning. One farmer says he saw several police cars, trucks, and helicopters circling a cannabis farm north of town. License information from the Cannabis Control Division’s website reveals there is a cannabis cultivation facility located in the same area where residents witnessed the raid.
KOB 4 received a tip Wednesday saying several Chinese people were transported to Albuquerque for medical care – possibly connected to the reported raid.
While visiting the facility Thursday, KOB 4’s crew noted several signs written in both English and Mandarin. A worker approached the crew outside the facility and asked them to speak to a translator through the phone.
When asked about a potential raid, the translator replied: “They did have lots of people come over, but they were actually thinking the other, some other people were here, but anyway, it comes out to be a mistake, so they already leave, so everybody fine, no problem, everybody – nobody arrested or anything so, that’s it.”
Neither the Torrance County Sheriff’s Office or Cannabis Control Division were able to provide comment Thursday.
Statement from the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General:
“We can confirm that the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office is investigating allegations of potential wage theft and human or labor trafficking at a cannabis cultivation facility in Torrance County. Our special agents, along with state and federal law enforcement partners from multiple agencies, are currently evaluating evidence recently recovered from the facility to determine if there have been any violations of the law. This is an open and active investigation.”