Federal agents on Thursday arrested two supervisors at Agriprocessors Inc., the country’s largest kosher meatpacking plant, on charges they helped illegal immigrants secure fake documents and encouraged them to reside in the U.S.
The arrests marked the first by U.S. authorities of individuals in supervisory roles at the Postville, Iowa, plant. On May 12, Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents arrested 389 workers at the facility, most of them undocumented immigrants from Latin America.
On Thursday, ICE agents arrested Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza, 35, and Martin De La Rosa-Loera, 43, on various criminal immigration and fraudulent identity charges outlined in separate complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A federal warrant has been issued for the arrest of another manager, Hosam Amara, 43, who hasn’t been located, according to a court statement.
Both Messrs. Guerrero-Espinoza and De La Rosa-Loera were charged with aiding and abetting the use of fraudulent identification before the raid. Mr. Guerrero-Espinoza is also charged with aiding and abetting "aggravated identity theft," according to the court. Both men were detained temporarily until their detention hearings on Monday.
Illegal immigrants typically get jobs either by presenting Social Security cards and other identification carrying a fabricated name and number, or by utilizing the real name and Social Security number of a U.S. legal resident or citizen, which constitutes identity theft.
The court complaint, based on information from unnamed "sources" who worked at the plant, cites an instance in which Mr. Guerrero-Espinoza asked illegal immigrants for $200 and a photograph. The supervisor, who oversaw the plant’s beef-kill section, then allegedly provided the workers with fraudulent identification.