FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Authorities in North Carolina have charged four people after former members of a religious group complained that a minister was forcing children to work in his fish markets for little or no money.
The Fayetteville Observer reports 67-year-old John McCollum and three women who worked for him were arrested in December. Six others are being sought.
The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office says McCollum faces charges including involuntary servitude of children. Arrest warrants list 16 children and young adults as victims. The sheriff's office says it believes more were involved.
Investigators say McCollum threatened the children with violence or loss of their food if they refused to work.
Police say McCollum told them he doesn't think he committed any crimes. McCollum is jailed on a $1.1 million bond.