Hayward Man Charged With Harboring Illegal Aliens In California
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Job Torres Hernandez on August 23, 2017, for harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage or private financial gain, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin.
According to the indictment unsealed today, since at least July 18, 2015, Torres, 37, of Hayward, Calif., harbored at least five people who he knew had come to, entered, and remained in the United States in violation of the law. According to the indictment, Torres concealed, harbored, and shielded from detection people who were not in the United States legally and that he knew, or had reckless disregard for the fact that, they were not in the United States legally. The indictment further alleges that Torres harbored these individuals, who were his employees, for the purpose of obtaining a commercial advantage and for private financial gain. The indictment charges Torres with one count of harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage or private financial gain, in violation of 8 U.S.C. §§ 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) and (B)(i).
Torres was arrested this morning in Hayward and made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu. At the hearing this morning the government alleged that Torres paid below minimum wage to his workers. In addition, the government alleged that the warehouse where many of the workers lived was locked from the outside at night. The government represented in court that seven people were recovered from that warehouse during the execution of a search warrant.
The defendant currently is in federal custody and is scheduled to appear again before Magistrate Judge Ryu tomorrow, August 30, 2017, for identification of counsel.
The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 8 U.S.C. §§ 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) and (B)(i) is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. In addition, the court may order an additional term of supervised release, forfeiture, and restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Shailika Kotiya is prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the HSI.