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Los Angeles-area employers facing criminal charges for hiring illegal aliens as agency steps up worksite enforcement

Agents of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have arrested the owner and a top executive of a metal casting company in Ventura County, California, on criminal charges of knowingly hiring undocumented aliens, the agency announced on Monday. Wayne Haddox, 67, owner of Masters in Metal, Inc, in Oxnard, California, and his son, Dennis Haddox, 37, who serves as the company’s vice president, were taken into custody on September 23 by ICE HSI agents. The agents also executed a federal search warrant at the business seeking evidence in ICE HIS’s ongoing investigation into the company’s hiring practices.

Haddox and his son are charged in a criminal complaint with continuing to employ unauthorized aliens. The arrests are the culmination of an investigation that began in 2007 when an ICE HSI audit of Masters in Metal’s hiring records identified 16 employees who used counterfeit permanent resident alien cards, commonly known as “green cards,” to obtain their jobs. According to the case affidavit, after ICE HSI notified the company about the suspicious documents, Master Metals sent a written reply advising that the employees in question had been terminated. But investigators later received information that two of the unauthorized workers had remained on the payroll after Wayne Haddox allegedly directed them to go out and get “good” Social Security numbers.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of up to six months in prison.