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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


OCTOBER 19, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


GRAND JURY INDICTS FORMER EMPLOYEE FROM

GEORGE’S PROCESSING PLANT


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Mexican national formerly employed in a secretarial position at George’s Processing, Inc., in Butterfield, Mo., has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to harboring and hiring illegal aliens.


             Sinthia Valadez-Ramirez, 22, a citizen of Mexico, was charged in a three-count indictment that was returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007. That indictment was unsealed and made public on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007, upon the arrest and initial court appearance of Valadez-Ramirez.


             This indictment is part of the active and ongoing investigation arising from a work site enforcement conducted at George’s Processing on Tuesday, May 22, 2007. Special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, executing a federal search warrant, arrested 136 illegal aliens from Mexico and Guatemala on administrative immigration charges. Agents from U.S. Marshals Service assisted with the arrests. As a result of that enforcement action, 28 of those employees were also charged criminally with immigration and identity theft violations.


             Valadez-Ramirez was charged with harboring an illegal alien at George’s Processing for commercial advantage or private financial gain, as well aiding and abetting others to encourage an illegal alien to enter or reside in the United States. Valadez-Ramirez was also charged with aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft. The indictment alleges that Valadez-Ramirez assisted an illegal alien to use a Missouri non-driver’s license and a Social Security card in another person’s name in order to falsely represent herself as a U.S. citizen.


             Wood cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment 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 Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard E. Monroe and Gary K. Milligan. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General.


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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