News and Press Releases

Dubuque Construction Company Owner Sentenced For Cospiring To Harbor Illegal Aliens

September 12, 2012

Contact: Peter Deegan

The owner and operator of On Time Construction company in Dubuque, Iowa, was sentenced in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, today to serve 5 months in prison followed by 5 months of house arrest, for conspiring to transport, harbor, and encourage illegal aliens to reside in the United States in violation of law.

Thomas C. Kehoe, 54, a United States citizen from Dubuque, Iowa, had pleaded guilty on April 27, 2012, to one count of conspiracy to transport, harbor, encourage, and induce aliens to reside in the United States.

For about the last eight years, Kehoe has owned and operated On Time Construction in Dubuque. In June 2011, two illegal aliens who performed work for the company were arrested in Dubuque. Subsequent investigation disclosed that during about the two previous years, Kehoe employed about 18 or 19 illegal alien workers to perform primarily residential roofing work for his construction business. The illegal alien workers were primarily recruited to work for Kehoe by Oswaldo Perez, an illegal alien from El Salvador. Kehoe claimed he subcontracted with Perez to perform construction work and to provide workers for his company. However, evidence developed in the course of the investigation showed that Kehoe knew, and acted with reckless disregard of the fact, that Perez and the other alien workers were unlawfully in the county. Perez was previously convicted of harboring aliens, sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment, and deported.

Kehoe was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade. In addition to being sentenced to serve 5 months’ imprisonment followed by 5 months’ home confinement, Kehoe was fined $3,000; ordered to pay a special assessment of $100; and ordered to serve a 3-year term of supervised release. Kehoe was also ordered to forfeit more than $280,000 in proceeds, including more than $150,000 in cash; a 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport; a 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle; a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado; and a 2006 Haul Mark Trailer. As part of a plea agreement, Kehoe was permitted to retain the interest in his home and in his wife’s and daughter’s vehicles.
“Homeland Security Investigations is committed to holding businesses accountable when they knowingly hire an illegal workforce," said Michael Feinberg, Special Agent in Charge of HSI St. Paul, which covers Iowa. "Employers who willfully violate our nation's hiring laws gain an unfair economic advantage over their law abiding competitors. Our goal is to protect job opportunities for the nation's legal workers and level the playing field for those businesses that play by the rules."

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard L. Murphy and was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.

Court file information is available at The case file number is 12-01010 LRR.



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