Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Greenfield Father Arrested for Human Trafficking

Posted: Jan 12, 2009 08:49 PM

Updated: Jan 13, 2009 03:40 AM

GREENFIELD. Calif. - A bizarre case in Greenfield, as a father is accused of selling his 14-year-old daughter for marriage. Marcelino de Jesus Martinez was arrested Sunday night after voluntarily speaking with Greenfield Police.

Chief Joe Grebmeier says Martinez was not aware of United States Laws that prohibit arrainged marriages involving minors.

Police admit the case is strange. Martinez agreed to a payment plan with 18-year-old Margarito de Jesus Galindo. It included $16,000 plus: 150 cases of beer, 50 cases of gatorade, 100 cases of soda, 6 cases of meat and two cases of wine.

"I just don't think it occurred to him that he was breaking any laws," says Grebmeier.

The Police Chief also explains the difference in culture south of the border, claiming, "Different communities have different cultures... somethings are legal in Mexico and not legal here."

Police were first notified about the case in December. According to reports, police say the 14-year-old girl left with Galindo to Soledad. It became an apparent "run-away teen" case when payments to Martinez were falling short and the father contacted police asking for his daughter's return.

It was not until Sunday night that details on the trafficking were confirmed.

Galindo was detained, but has not been arrested. Greenfield Police say Galindo and Martinez were originally neighbors in Greenfield.

Police say arrainged marriages are common in several cultures, and explain it is not an issue among consenting adults over the age of 18. Police believe the 14-year-old girl left to Soledad willingly.

This was the first case of human trafficking in at least 6 years. The case will now go to the Monterey County Distrist Attorney.

Anyone with information regarding the selling of children should call local police.

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