Immokalee man charged with smuggling girl into country, forcing her to work

An Immokalee man, who federal prosecutors say had someone smuggle a girl over the border and then forced her to work as a farmworker, was arraigned Monday.

Francisco F. Domingo, 46, of the 500 block of Clifton Street, Immokalee, has been charged with encouraging/inducing entry of an alien and harboring an alien.

Issued by the grand jury in May 2009 but sealed and not entered until Thursday, the indictment described how in Spring 2008 Domingo got help smuggling the girl into the United States.

The girl, a minor from Guatemala identified only by her initials LFD, told prosecutors that she didn’t want to travel to the United States to live with Domingo.

However, an affidavit submitted by FBI Special Agent Kevin McCormick, as part of a material witness warrant for one of Domingo’s accomplices, described how Domingo sent the man — identified as Wilson Rigoberto Francisco Miguel — to pick up the girl from Guatemala after making arrangements with her family.

The girl briefly got away, but soon was tracked down by Francisco Miguel, who also owed Domingo smuggling fees.

Once the girl was in the country, the affidavit said she lived with Domingo, his wife Magdalena Tomas, his three children, two grandchildren, and Francisco Miguel and his wife.

In addition, the indictment said Domingo would take her to work in various agricultural fields throughout Florida, South Carolina and Georgia and profited from her labor.

The affidavit went further, stating that a joint investigation by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI found that Domingo also forced the girl to pose for sexually explicit photographs and videos filmed at an associate’s home.

Domingo, a native of Guatemala and a U.S. resident, was arrested Wednesday.

At his arraignment Monday, records showed Domingo pleaded not guilty.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Polster Chappell found that Domingo was a flight risk and ordered that he remain detained pending further proceedings.

Domingo is scheduled to go before U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell on April 13 for a status conference and for trial on May 3.

__ Connect with Elysa Batista at www.naplesnews.com/staff/elysa_batista

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