Central figure in Georgia human trafficking case offers plea deal

Operation Blooming Onion Photo Illustration

The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) announced that it has reached a plea agreement with Maria Patricio, a central figure in Operation Blooming Onion, one of the largest human trafficking cases in the United States ever prosecuted by the USDOJ. The plea agreement ends the outstanding charges, according to a court document filed in federal court for review on June 7.

U.S. Attorney Jill Steinberg asked the Court to schedule a Rule 11 proceeding and accept Defendant’s plea as set forth in the proposed agreement. The court document does not specify the terms of the plea agreement.

The court filing is the latest update in the Operation Blooming Onion case, a saga that has spanned nearly three years since the DOJ unsealed the indictment in early December 2021. The plea agreement will against an April 18 court document that confirmed Patricio planned to take his case to court.