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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


SEPTEMBER 10, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


FORMER POULTRY PLANT EMPLOYEES PLEAD GUILTY

TO IMMIGRATION, IDENTITY THEFT VIOLATIONS


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that five former employees of a southwest Missouri poultry-processing plant pleaded guilty in federal court today, in separate cases, to various immigration and identity-theft related violations.


             Armando Verde-Villanueva, 23, a citizen of Mexico, and Elias Hernandez-Tevalan, 41, Bladimiro Gomez-Garcia, 33, Gabriel Lopez-Alvarado, 38, and Ervin Mendez-Ordonez, 22, all citizens of Guatemala, pleaded guilty in separate appearances this morning before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge James C. England to the charges contained in separate federal indictments returned on June 27, 2007. Each of the defendants was arrested during the execution of search warrants on Tuesday, May 22, 2007, at George’s Processing, Inc., in Butterfield, Mo.


             Each of the five defendants pleaded guilty to falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen, aggravated identity theft and misuse of a Social Security number. In addition, Verde-Villanueva and Gomez-Garcia each pleaded guilty to illegally reentering the United States after having been deported.


            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.


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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