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19 Arrested in ICE Worksite Enforcement Investigation at Four Local Restaurants

March 28, 2012

15 Charged with Using Fraudulent Immigration Documents to Obtain Employment Four Charged with Illegal Reentry After Deportation

Springfield, Ill. – Nineteen individuals who worked at four Springfield, Ill., restaurants were arrested and charged in federal criminal complaints on March 27, 2012, during a worksite enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). As a result of the enforcement investigation, 15 individuals have been charged with using fraudulent immigration documents to obtain employment; four others face charges of illegal reentry to the U.S. after deportation.

The complaints were sealed pending the defendants’ initial court appearances which were held this morning in Springfield before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron Cudmore.

The individuals arrested were employed at three Xochimilco locations: 2941 W. Iles Ave.; 3210 Northfield Drive; 6901 Preston Drive; and at Good Tequila’s, located at 2936 S. 6th Street, Springfield, Ill.

Those charged with using fraudulent immigration documents are:

  • Juan Morales-Cano; Oscar Caixba-Polito; Ruben Fuentes-Huerta; Andres Gomez-Lucas; Juan Gomez-Lucas; Jose Becerra-Mireles; and Omar Vargas-Barajas, employed at 2941 W. Iles Ave;
  • Jose Chagala-Chagala; Enrique Alonzo-Perez; and Maximino Chagala-Chagala, employed at 6901 Preston Dr.;
  • Ricardo Gonzalez-Ramirez and Nora Baxin-Xolo, employed at 2936 S. 6th St.; and,
  • Hector Ayala-Duarte; Martin Barajas-Vasquez; and Jose Munoz-Torres, employed at 3210 Northfield Dr.

The affidavits filed in support of the complaints allege that ICE agents seized employment forms including Employment Eligibility Verification forms known as I-9 forms. The complaint alleges each of the defendants presented fraudulent immigration documents, including fraudulent Resident Alien cards and fraudulent Social Security cards to unlawfully obtain employment at the respective restaurant. According to the affidavit, the immigration and social security numbers provided by the defendants in the documents did not relate to an individual or were invalid numbers.

If convicted, the statutory penalty for the offense is up to five years in prison.

Four additional individuals were arrested and charged with illegally reentering the U.S. after deportation:
Employed at 3210 Northfield Dr.: Celso Labrador-Perez, allegedly deported at Nogales, Ariz., in November 2010; Joaquin Perez-Labrador, aka Esteban Rodriguez-Perez, allegedly deported at Nogales, Ariz., in December 2009; and Gilberto Munoz-Torres, allegedly deported at Calexico, Calif., in November 2011; and, employed at 2941 W. Iles Ave., Jose Flores-Morones, allegedly deported in January 2005 at Otay Mesa, Calif.

If convicted, the statutory penalty for the offense is up to two years in prison.

Members of the public are reminded that a complaint is merely an accusation; the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

The charges are the result of a worksite enforcement operation and investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory M. Gilmore.

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