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
MAY 31, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ELEVEN POULTRY PLANT EMPLOYEES CHARGED
WITH IMMIGRATION VIOLATIONS
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that 11 employees of a southwest Missouri poultry-processing plant were charged in federal court on Wednesday, May 30, 2007, 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 German Puentes-Mendoza, 25, Elziar Oswaldo Vasquez-Estrada, 19, Gabriel Lopez-Alvarado, 38, Carmen De Leon-Guzman, 28, Luis Geyman Fernando-Diaz, 33, Bernabe Lopez-Alcon, 35, Delfino Lopez-Gomez, 33, and Henry Anibal Oxlaj-Ixmay, 23, all citizens of Guatamala, and Armando Valdez-Ayala, 26, Oliver Sosa-Martinez, 23, and Maria Hinojosa-Pedroza, 25, all citizens of Mexico.
Puentes-Mendoza, Vasquez-Estrada, Lopez-Alvarado and De Leon-Guzman were each charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield with falsely claiming to be citizens of the United States in order to gain employment. According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Puentes-Mendoza was ordered removed from the United States but, after being denied an appeal on July 22, 2004, failed to appear for removal as ordered. According to affidavits filed in support of the criminal complaints, Vasquez-Estrada and De Leon-Guzman were ordered removed from the United States in absentia (Vasquez-Estrada on April 4, 2006, and De Leon-Guzman on Aug. 3, 2000) but failed to depart as ordered. According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Lopez-Alvarado was granted voluntary departure from the United States until April 13, 2005, with an alternate order of deportation should he fail to depart as required.
Each of remaining seven defendants was charged separately in criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield with reentering the United States after having been deported. According to affidavits filed in support of those criminal complaints, Fernando-Diaz was deported on June 24, 2005; Lopez-Alcon was deported on Oct. 28, 2005; Lopez-Gomez was deported on Feb. 3, 2005; Oxlaj-Ixmay was deported on Jan. 4, 2007; Valdez-Ayala was deported on Dec. 3 and 31, 2004; Sosa-Martinez was deported on May 27 and June 3, 2005, and on April 7, 2006; Hinojosa-Pedroza was deported on Nov. 29, 2000.
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.
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