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Business owners sentenced for unlawfully harboring, transporting and employing illegal aliens

Owners of Arkansas-based Amador Poultry Contracting and J&A Loading were sentenced for conspiring to harbor, transport and employ illegal aliens following an investigation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced the agency.

The four owners were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 12 to 30 months. All four were also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following their release from prison. Kelle Stubbs-Amador was sentenced to time already served and three years probation. Leoncio Amador-Villanueva, Jose Amador-Villanueva, and Kelle Stubbs-Amador pled guilty in October 2009 to conspiracy to harbor, transport, and employ illegal aliens. In addition, Leoncio Amador-Villanueva and Juan Amador-Villanueva entered guilty pleas for money laundering.

The guilty pleas stemmed from an investigation into the employment and transportation of illegal aliens as a source of labor for Amador Poultry Contracting and J&A Loading, businesses owned or controlled by the defendants. The guilty pleas were based on findings that illegal aliens were knowingly hired by the defendants to work on chicken-catching crews, who were transported to various worksites and were paid in cash. In conjunction with their guilty pleas, the defendants agreed to the forfeiture of property totaling more than $1.2 million in US currency, and real and personal property valued at $631,000, for a total forfeiture of more than $1.87 million.

“ICE aggressively targets employers who egregiously violate immigration laws by knowingly employing an illegal alien workforce,” said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., ICE special agent in charge of the HSI office in New Orleans. “Businesses that use illegal alien workers to gain an economic advantage over their competition must understand that they will be held accountable for those unlawful practices.”