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Press Release

Lexington Woman Sentenced to 18 Months for Immigration and Labor Violations

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Defendant Harbored Undocumented Mexican Migrant for Labor on Tobacco Farm

The Department of Justice announced today that Pedra Perez-Gumeta, 52, of Lexington, Kentucky, was sentenced to serve 18 months in federal prison by United States Senior District Court Judge Joseph M. Hood for harboring an undocumented Mexican migrant for labor at a tobacco farm, illegally re-entering the United States after deportation and failing to pay a minimum wage to the undocumented Mexican migrant.  Judge Hood also ordered Perez-Gumeta to pay restitution to the Mexican migrant in the amount of $1,311 and mandatory special assessments totaling $210.

Perez-Gumeta previously admitted that she had brought a woman to Lexington from Mexico to provide the woman with a job.  Perez-Gumeta also admitted that she knew the woman was from Mexico and not legally within the United States, nor was the woman able to work legally in the United States.  Perez-Gumeta also admitted that she had been previously deported from the United States and that she had re-entered the United States illegally.  Perez-Gumeta further admitted that she did not pay the woman for all of the labor the woman performed, instead keeping a portion of the woman’s wages for herself.  Perez-Gumeta pleaded guilty to the charges in September of 2014.  In sentencing Perez-Gumeta, the court found that the defendant used coercion in the course of harboring the undocumented Mexican woman for financial gain.

Under federal law, Perez-Gumeta must serve 85 percent of her prison sentence, and, upon release, will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for one year, unless she is deported.

Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Steven L. Igyarto, Resident Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Rodney Brewer, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police (KSP), and Mark Barnard, Chief, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Police, jointly made the announcement today after the sentencing.

The investigation was conducted by the DHS-HSI, the KSP, and the Lexington Police Department.  The United States was represented by Trial Attorney Victor Boutros of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit and Assistant United States Attorneys Hydee R. Hawkins and David A. Marye.

Updated August 27, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-005