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Agriprocessors supervisor enters guilty plea
A former supervisor at Agriprocessors, the Postville meatpacking plant that was the location of the nation’s largest single-site immigration raid, accepted a deal and pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday afternoon.
Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza, 35, has been convicted of one count of conspiracy to hire illegal aliens and one count of aiding and abetting the hiring of illegal aliens. A date for sentencing has not yet been set.
Court documents filed Aug. 19 indicate 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. Guerrero-Espinoza was convicted, in part, due to a conversation he had with employees under his supervision on May 7. 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.
Officials in the U.S. Attorney’s Office would not offer further detail as to the identity of “the others” with which Guerrero-Espinoza was convicted of conspiring. He faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, $200 in special assessments and supervised release for up to six years. There is no parole in the federal system. Under the plea agreement the court is allowed to depart from sentencing guidelines and increase the sentence by two years, based on dismissed and uncharged criminal conduct.
Two other supervisors from the Agriprocessors plant have yet to face charges. Martin De La Rosa-Loera, 43, is remanded until trial in September on charges of aiding and abetting the possession and use of fraudulent identity documents and encouraging aliens to illegally reside in the U.S. The complaint against fugitive Hosam Amara remains sealed.
The three men remain the only members of management to face criminal charges following the unprecedented May 12 raid at Agriprocessors, the largest kosher meatpacking plant in the nation.