Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery in Los Angeles

For years, a unassuming apartment complex in El Monte, a residential suburb of Los Angeles, housed one of the most horrific sweatshops the country had ever seen. Seventy two Thai nationals who had been trafficked into the country illegally and stripped of their passports, were held captive while being forced into arduous labor for up to 18 hours a day. Unable to leave the compound, or in some instances even go outside, the workers in this factory from hell resigned themselves to the horrid reality that took the place of their American dream. This operation existed for the better part of a decade, moving shop at any sign of suspicion. Rumors of this "Ghost Factory" circulated throughout the LA garment industry, as investigators chased leads and attempted to build a case.

Our story centers on the experiences of the survivors of this case. It is told through their testimonies, as well as those of the investigators, social workers, and legal team who brought justice to the perpetrators of this heinous crime, and gave the victims a chance at a new beginning. By finally capturing the definitive account of this case of modern-day slavery, we hope to broaden awareness of this event while drawing attention to the continuing struggle to end the trafficking of human lives. We also hope to shed some light on the dark corners of the contemporary production chain, which have driven down the price of clothing for consumers, at the incalculable human cost of the victims still enslaved within this system.

Coming 2016

The full length documentary will release early in 2016. The above clip is an extended teaser assembled for use at a Museum of Tolerance exhibit marking the 20th anniversary of the raid on the El Monte compound. We are currently in the process of collecting additional survivor testimonies as well as interviews with the investigators, prosecutors, and social workers who took part in the case.

The Production Team

Ghost Factories is an independent production created by Adam Scott, Alexander Murillo, and Genaro Carpio.

Help Finish the Story

The Ghost Factories team will soon be launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise the necessary funds to finish the full-length documentary. Look here and on our Facebook page for updated information on when you can get involved.