HONOLULU – Two prominent brothers who operate the second-largest vegetable farm in Hawaii will be sentenced in federal court this week on human-trafficking charges. But two former state governors, community groups, fellow farmers and other supporters are trying to keep them out of prison.
The brothers were convicted of shipping 44 labourers from Thailand and forcing them to work on their farm. They face five years imprisonment.
Supporters of Alec and Mike Sou say the Aloun Farms may be too important to fail in Hawaii, which grows less than 15 per cent of the food it consumes.
Prosecutors accused the brothers of exploiting the Thai workers by forcing them to work long hours with low wages.