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Local industrial supply company sentenced for employing illegal aliens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2012

St. Louis, MO - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that J & J Industrial Supply, Inc., was sentenced on charges of employing illegal aliens. As part of the previous plea, the company agreed to forfeit $150,000 and a 2011 Toyota Highlander used in facilitating the illegal activity. The company paid the $150,000 today at sentencing and also received one year of probation.

According to court documents, J & J Industrial Supply, Inc., d/b/a Industrial Wiping Cloths & Supplies, located in the City of St. Louis, is a business that resells used clothing in bulk quantities to overseas purchasers and produces cleaning rags for domestic customers. It is a labor intensive business that primarily involves hand sorting and cutting of used clothing. The business retains approximately 40 employees and is owned by Jerry McArthur.

Since 2008, J & J utilized illegal aliens unauthorized to work in the United States to supplement its legal workforce. During a 12-month period, the company employed 10 or more illegal aliens, and by utilizing these aliens realized proceeds of approximately $150,000 during the time of the offense.

"Today's sentence should serve as a stern warning to employers who perpetuate a shadow economy by hiring an illegal workforce," said Gary Hartwig, Special Agent in Charge of ICE-HSI in Chicago. "J & J Industrial Supply, Inc. knowingly hired illegal workers and circumvented our nation's immigration laws for financial gain. The goal of our enforcement efforts is two-fold - reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect job opportunities for lawful American workers."

The company pled guilty October 18 to knowingly and intentionally hiring more than 10 illegal aliens in a 12-month period, and appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge E. Richard Webber.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)-Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney John Ware handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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