News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY - December 15, 2010

CARPENTRY COMPANY OWNER INDICTED ON IMMIGRATION CHARGES

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that a Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment charging two brothers, JUAN ANTONIO LOPEZ PONCE and JOSE ALFREDO LOPEZ PONCE, who operate J&A Framers Carpentry, Inc., on one count of conspiring to bring in and harbor illegal aliens, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Sections 1324(a)(1)(A)(i) and 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) and Title 18, United States Code, Code 371; one count of bringing in illegal aliens, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(i); one count of harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Sections 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii); and one count of engaging in a pattern and practice of hiring and recruiting unauthorized aliens, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324a(a)(1)(A) and (f)(1).

As alleged in the indictment, the LOPEZ brothers, in order to ensure a ready source of illegal aliens to satisfy J&A’s labor needs, assisted in paying “coyote” organizations to smuggle aliens into the United States. J&A reduced their overhead by evading the payment of payroll taxes and by paying the illegal workers at rates lower than the minimum wage. They further profited by collecting rent from the illegal workers for the spartan accommodations provided to them. The LOPEZ brothers came to the United States illegally in the 1980s, but have since married U.S. citizens and become naturalized.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations Division and the United States Immigration and Custom Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorneys Dennis Duffy and John Stuart Bruce represented the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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