MIAMI – A Cuban national living in Palm Beach was convicted in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Monday on felony labor trafficking and alien smuggling charges for forcing two Cuban nationals to work in South Florida strip clubs to repay their debts to him for bringing them into the U.S. The conviction resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.
Ivan Madrigal Zamora, 47, of Cuba, was convicted of two counts of forced labor trafficking and two counts of encouraging and inducing an alien to reside in the United States.
According to court records, Zamora entered the United States with a female Cuban national through Mexico in May 2016. Upon arriving in Florida, Zamora forced the woman to work in Palm Beach County strip clubs to earn money to repay him for the $10,000 debt that he ordered her to pay for bringing her into the United States. Per court records, Zamora then had a second female smuggled from Cuba he also directed to work in strip clubs to pay back Zamora’s imposed debt on her of $26,000.
A third female he smuggled from Cuba and attempted to force into the same situation in early 2017 reported Zamora to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, which prompted the investigation that ultimately resulted in his arrest and conviction.
Zamora is scheduled to be sentenced on January 11, 2019. He faces a maximum sentence of up to 60 years in federal prison.