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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



MAY 25, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SIX POULTRY PLANT EMPLOYEES CHARGED

WITH IMMIGRATION VIOLATIONS


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that six employees of a southwest Missouri poultry-processing plant were charged in federal court today, in separate cases, with immigration violations.


             Arrested during the execution of search warrants on Tuesday, May 22, 2007, at George’s Processing, Inc., in Butterfield, Mo., were Elias Hernandez-Tevalan, 41, Enrique Lopez-Cristobal, 38, Oscar Deldago-Paxtor, 29, and Bladimiro Gomez-Garcia, 32, all of whom are citizens of Guatemala, and Armando Verde-Villanueva, 23, and Juan Manuel Rivera-Lucio, 34, both of whom are citizens of Mexico.


             Hernandez-Tevalan was charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield with falsely claiming to be a citizen of the United States in order to gain employment. According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Hernandez-Tevalan was ordered removed from the United States in absentia on Oct. 4, 2001, but failed to depart.


             Lopez-Cristobal, Deldago-Paxtor, Gomez-Garcia, Vered-Villanueva and Rivera-Lucio were each charged separately in criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield with reentering the United States after having been deported. Lopez-Cristobal was removed as an aggravated felon, the affidavit says.

            These cases are being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard E. Monroe and Gary Milligan. They were investigated by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General – Office of Investigations, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in these complaints are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html