Last December, ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) made a series of raids at Swift plants. At the time, they maintained the raids were part of a larger investigation.
The investigation continued and more arrests have been made. Most of the current arrests consist of people, who are not illegal immigrants.
From the ICE press release:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents Tuesday arrested 20 employees of Swift & Company (Swift), one of the nation's largest processors of pork and beef, after executing federal and state warrants in six states. The arrests included a human resources employee, a union official, and current or former Swift employees identified by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as suspected identity thieves.ICE press release with more information, here.
"The criminal arrests tied to the Swift case demonstrate how entering the country illegally can serve as a gateway to other crimes including identity theft and document fraud," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "We take these crimes seriously and will continue to seek out and arrest those who break the law." ICE agents made the arrests in Marshalltown, Iowa; Grand Island, Neb.; Worthington, Minn.; Greeley, Colo.; Hyrum, Utah; and Cactus, Texas.
Of those apprehended, 18 were arrested for charges relating to identity theft and administrative immigration violations. Chris Lamb, a human resources employee, and Braulio Pereyra, a union official who represents Swift employees, were arrested in Marshalltown and are charged with harboring illegal aliens. Lamb, a 17-year Swift employee, is also charged with misprision of a felony. The charge for harboring illegal aliens carries a five-year maximum prison sentence. The misprision offense is punishable by up to three years in prison.
Apparently, the powers that be at Swift must have been pretty cooperative in the investigation:
Swift is to be commended not only for its cooperation during yesterday's enforcement action, but for its continuing efforts to improve its hiring practices in order to ensure a legal workforce," said ICE Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers. "The vast majority of companies want to do the right thing. When they do, ICE can focus our resources on the worst of the worst - those who've used stolen identities or aided illegal aliens in using stolen identities and victimized the unsuspecting public."
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and what message it sends to other people involved in this activity.Founded in 2003, ICE is in charge of investigating issues a lot of issues besides illegal immigrants. A full description of what they do is on their site, which can be seen, here.
Suspicious activity can be reported to them at 1-866-347-2423.
For more posts from this blog about the Swift raids, or referencing it, click here.