Live Blog: Aloun Farms Human Trafficking Trial — The End
The Aloun Farms trial involving brothers Alec and Mike Sou, who were accused of keeping 44 Thai immigrants as indentured laborers, opened Wednesday, July 27, with jury selection. It ended with a stunning turn on Thursday, Aug. 4, when federal prosecutors dropped all charges against the brothers.
The government issued this statement:
"In the interest of justice the United States moved to dismiss the indictment based in part on the receipt of reciprocal discovery provided by the defense that was not provided to the government until July 29, 2011. After thoroughly reviewing this information, the government determined that it cannot meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, in the interest of justice, the Government dismissed the charges in this matter.
"The department declines further comment at this time."
In response, Thomas Bienert, attorney for Alec Sou, told Civil Beat: "I don't even know what discovery they were talking about. I don't think there was anything we gave them that was extraordinary."
"We were repeatedly giving reciprocal discovery that if they took time to read it and understand it, would show that their case was wrong and that the Sous did not do what was alleged."
The decision was the culmination of a dramatic week of hearings. This live blog from the courtroom chronicles the entire trial.
Read what the jurors had to say about the trial:
Read about the impact of the charges on the brothers and what they had to say about the case now that they're unburdened of the threat of prison time.
To view and participate in the discussion, scroll down to the bottom of the page.