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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

Friday, May 8, 2015

Owner Of Utica Dog Food Plant Admits To Harboring Illegal Aliens

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Michael Dote, age 47, of West Edmeston, New York, pled guilty to harboring four illegal aliens from November 2013 through December 31, 2013 at a dog food plant Dote owns named Scooby Rendering, Inc. ("Scooby"), located at 1930 Oriskany Street, Utica, New York according to United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.

During the plea hearing on May 8, 2015, Dote admitted as the co-owner/operator of Scooby, he was responsible for the hiring of Scooby employees. In 2013, Dote hired four illegal aliens from Guatemala. When Dote hired the four aliens, he did not request any documentation verifying that they were authorized to work in the United States. On December 30, 2013, emergency crews responded to the report of a fire at one of the loading docks at Scooby. The fire investigation subsequently revealed that there were four aliens working and residing at Scooby. Dote admitted that he harbored the aliens and that such conduct substantially facilitated the aliens’ remaining in the United States.

The defendant is facing a statutory maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000.00. Dote is scheduled to be sentenced on September 18, 2015 before the Honorable Glenn T. Suddaby.

This prosecution resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Syracuse, New York, with cooperation from the New York State Police, Whitestown Police Department, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Border Patrol, Utica Police Department, and CBP Air and Marine Operations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ransom P. Reynolds. Further questions may be directed to Executive Assistant United States John Duncan at (315) 448-0672.

Updated May 8, 2015