Woman faces slavery-related charges

By Tom Roussey - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A north Charlotte woman faces federal slavery-related charges involving an illegal immigrant teenager, but she says the charges are a bunch of hogwash.

Lucinda Shackleford has been indicted on one count of forced labor and another charge accusing her of withholding the illegal immigrant's birth certificate in furtherance of slave trafficking.

According to the indictment, the Department of Health and Human Services put an illegal immigrant referred to as CRB -- who Lucinda identifies as Carlos Alberto Montes Salvador -- in Lucinda's care in February 2009.

Lucinda says Carlos was 17 and about to turn 18 at the time.

The indictment says Carlos wasn't supposed to work, but Lucinda allegedly made him clean up about 60 yards in the trailer park she lives in off Old Statesville Road.  She's also accused of making him sell beer and food out of her trailer.

She's also accused of not feeding Carlos right and demanding money from him.

"He went and told them that I beat on him and I did this, and I did that," Lucinda told WBTV.  "It's a lie, and everybody out here knows it's a lie."

"I have done nothing to the child.  He ate while he was here, he had clean clothes while he was here, nobody did anything to him."

Lucinda says she's was doing Carlos's father -- who she says is also an illegal immigrant -- a favor by agreeing to care for Carlos in return for help with her rent money.

"I didn't know what all I was getting into," Lucinda said, "but I can tell you it'll be a cold day in hell before I help somebody else."

Lucinda accused Carlos's father of cooking up these charges in an effort not to be deported.

"I tell you what, if there's another American any damn stupider than I am, I feel sorry for them, because I won't help another one of them if the damn sky fall on 'em," she said.

If convicted of both the charges against her, Lucinda faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.

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