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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Convicted Agriprocessors supervisor requests revisit of sentence

By Lynda Waddington | 12.16.09 | 12:06 pm

The first Agriprocessors supervisor sentenced following a massive immigration raid at the Postville meatpacking plant is requesting the court review his sentence on a belief that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling will mitigate it.

Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza, 36, was sentenced to and is serving 36 months in federal prison. Two years of that sentence was a mandatory ruling for aggravated identity theft, according to court documents, and was a term of the plea deal he signed that allowed him to avoid deportation and for his wife and children to return to the U.S.  following his prison term. He entered into the plea agreement in late August 2008.

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Roughly nine months later, on May 4, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that many of the convictions and sentences given to immigrant detainees from the Postville raid were in error. According to the ruling, federal prosecutors inappropriately used aggravated identity theft laws to prosecute undocumented workers because the prosecution did not prove that the workers knowingly used identities that belonged to other individuals.

“As a matter of ordinary English grammar, it seems natural to read the statute’s word ‘knowingly’ as applying to all subsequently listed elements of the crime,” wrote Justice Stephen G. Breyer in the decision.

Other Agriprocessors supervisors, despite being originally charged with aggravated identity theft, had charges removed by the prosecution following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In light of this, attorneys for Guerrero-Espinoza is requesting the court vacate or correct his sentence to reflect what has happened in the other cases and the decision by the Justices. If the request is granted, he could be freed after serving 19 months.

Court documents filed in August 2008 indicated that Guerrero-Espinoza “conspired with others, and aided and abetted his employer, in hiring more than 10 individuals” whom he knew to be undocumented and unable to legally work in the U.S. He was convicted, in part, due to a conversation he had with employees under his supervision on May 7, 2008. At that time Guerrero-Espinoza allegedly told workers he knew to be illegal immigrants that they were going to be terminated and then immediately rehired by Agriprocessors. While this testimony goes directly to the aiding and abetting illegal aliens charge, it does not speak directly to whether Guerrero-Espinoza was aware that the documents used to re-hire the workers stemmed from stolen identities.

Upon the federal conviction of Sholom Rubashkin, former Agriprocessors day-to-day manager, on numerous fraud-related charges, prosecutors have agreed not to seek a second trial on the immigration-related offenses that he faced. Without that trial, it is unlikely that much of the immigration-related evidence gathered at the Agriprocessors site following the 2008 raid, or much of the key witness testimony, will ever be publicly revealed.

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Comments

  • TikvaWay

    If I'm not mistaken, Juan Carlos was alleged to be one of the supervisors accused of sexual predation. If so, he could be charged with statutory rape if any of his victims are still around. This might be the only opportunity for the sexual predation stories to come out. One has to wonder if the state prosecutors will follow up or sweep this under the rug.

  • TikvaWay

    If I'm not mistaken, Juan Carlos was alleged to be one of the supervisors accused of sexual predation. If so, he could be charged with statutory rape if any of his victims are still around. This might be the only opportunity for the sexual predation stories to come out. One has to wonder if the state prosecutors will follow up or sweep this under the rug.

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