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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN



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



MARCH 1, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SPRINGFIELD BUSINESS OWNER CHARGED

WITH HARBORING ILLEGAL ALIENS


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the owner of a Springfield, Mo., construction company was charged in federal court today with harboring illegal aliens.


             Santiago Lopez-Gomez, 28, a citizen of Mexico residing in Springfield, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield with harboring six illegal aliens from Mexico.


             According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s criminal complaint, Lopez-Gomez, also an illegal alien, hired six illegal aliens to work for his construction company, S.L. Primo’s Exteriors. Lopez-Gomez allegedly rented several residences in the Freemont Hills Town Home Community in Ozark, Mo., to house his workers.


             Lopez-Gomez and four of the illegal aliens were arrested on Feb. 27, 2007, by police officers in Ozark during their investigation of a motor vehicle accident, the affidavit says.


            Schlozman cautioned that the charges contained in this complaint 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.


            This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Ozark, Mo., Police Department.


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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