Officials warn of public safety threat in release of accused human traffickers
REDWOOD CITY, California —Officials in San Mateo county warned of potential threats to public safety posed by the release from jail of three of four members of a family involved in what one county supervisor called “the most egregious human trafficking case” he has ever seen.
The officials contended that members of the Gamos family could threaten prospective witnesses who could take the stand at their criminal trial scheduled to begin June 17, according to a CBS News/Bay Area report.
Present at a news conference to issue the warning were San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, Daly City Mayor Glenn Sylvester and Daly City Vice Mayor Juslyn Manalo, along with members of the Justice for Rainbow Bright Workers Campaign Task Force and other San Mateo County community members.
In September 2018, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced 59 criminal charges filed against four members of the Gamos family, who owned and operated Rainbow Bright, which has four adult care facilities and two child care facilities in South San Francisco, Daly City and Pacifica.
Joshua Gamos, 44; Noel Gamos, 40; Gerlen Gamos, 38; and Carlina Gamos, 67, employed mostly Filipino immigrants to take care of the adults and children in their facilities, prosecutors contend.
The attorney general estimates that more than 100 employees were victimized and abused by the Gamos family over a 10-year period.
Family members face a variety of charges, including human trafficking, grand wage theft amounting to some $8.5 million, tax evasion and illegal possession of firearms and rape.
Carlina Gamos and Noel Gamos were released from jail on April 13, related to efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in San Mateo County jails. Those two were not charged with violent crimes.
GerlenGamos has been out of custody on “supervised own recognizance” release.
Joshua Gamos remained in custody Sunday on suspicion of grand theft of wages totaling $8.5 million, as well as human trafficking, tax evasion, possession of illegal weapons and rape.
At a hearing Monday morning, he is scheduled to ask San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey R. Finnigan to reduce his bail, currently set at $3 million, to $300,000.
Wagstaffe said Sunday he believes Joshua Gamos is a flight risk.
Canepa, who called the Rainbow Bright case “the most egregious human trafficking case that I have ever seen,” said Joshua Gamos needs to stay in jail.
“If the court was to lower the bail, it would truly, truly be a sign of disrespect to the community and those workers,” Canepa said.
“When you put people outside, treat them like animals, when you rape them, there is no reason that the court should give bail tomorrow.”