SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Attorney General’s Office has arrested and plans to file formal charges against multiple individuals in connection with a human trafficking case at a West Bountiful-based landscaping and snow removal company registered with the State as Rubicon Contractors, LLC.
So far, three company executives have been arrested, including Clayton Phillips, Tyler Brinkman and Adam Perea. All are charged with seven counts of Aggravated Labor Trafficking. Additional Rubicon employees are expected to be charged as well.
Investigators from the Utah Attorney General’s Secure Strikeforce discovered about 150 people from Mexico were recruited to work at Rubicon, using H2B Visas. Once in Utah, workers endured extremely poor working and living conditions, and unreasonable charges for housing and equipment. Pay for the workers was negligible, forcing them to rely on food banks and charity to survive. Winter months increase health and safety risks.
Investigators found workers were required to be on the job even if they were sick and were threatened with deportation if they did not comply. Workers report they were not allowed to use restrooms during long shifts and were forced to pay for tools, repairs and damage to Rubicon equipment.
“The treatment of these workers is appalling. I know our AG Victim Advocates have been on the scene supporting them,” said Attorney General Sean D. Reyes. “We intend to prove the victims are innocent people who came to America using a legal immigration process to work hard, earn a living and contribute to society. But, instead, we believe they were exploited in subhuman living and working conditions as indentured servants in a labor trafficking scheme.”
AG Reyes continued: “This is another example of how broadly this type of crime plagues Utah and America and why I have made it a priority to combat human trafficking for the past 10 years. My office and I will continue to prioritize awareness and enforcement of these crimes and human rights abuses.”