Woman Sentenced in Palm Beach Human Trafficking Case Involving Sisters

A woman who trafficked two sisters and was accused of keeping them in debt bondage has been sentenced to about six months in jail.

Miriam Mackler pleaded guilty to two counts of human trafficking. She received a 180-day sentence and three years of probation. With credit for 167 days already served, she will spend less than two weeks more in jail.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mackler in January after investigating her with their Human Trafficking Task Force. One victim, from Guatemala, said they each paid $15,000 to come to the United States. The second sister managed to pay off her debt and was living independently when she spoke with investigators.

Deputies visited Mackler’s home where the second sister explained she feared leaving because Mackler threatened to take away her young son.

The first victim, who arrived in the U.S. two years ago while pregnant, stated she knew Mackler from Guatemala. She was unaware of fees or debts until arriving in the U.S. Two men helped smuggle her in, and she gave birth at an immigration shelter in Texas.

When the first victim reached Palm Beach County, Mackler claimed she owed $17,000 for expenses related to her arrival. Mackler allegedly forced her to work at a food truck to repay the debt and $300 monthly rent. She threatened to take away the victim’s child if she didn’t repay.

The second victim had a similar story, saying she was made to work at the food truck upon arrival in Palm Beach County in 2021. She alleged that all her earnings went towards her debt and suffered verbal abuse from Mackler.

Mackler initially faced charges of labor trafficking and smuggling.

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