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20 indicted in immigration raid in Worthington

The Associated Press - Tuesday, December 19, 2006


A federal grand jury in Minneapolis has indicted 20 people on immigration-related charges - including 15 for alleged identity theft - stemming from last week's raid at the Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Worthington.

According to Monday's indictments, 19 people were charged with use of an unlawfully obtained document for employment and use of a false document for employment eligibility verification. Fifteen of those people also faced an additional charge of aggravated identity theft.

Authorities said those 19 defendants used the Social Security cards and numbers of other persons to gain employment at Swift & Co. They also used Minnesota identification cards, driver's licenses, and other forms of identification to satisfy employment requirements.

A 20th person was charged entering the United States illegally after being previously deported.

Eight of those indicted are from Mexico, seven are from Guatemala, four are from El Salvador and one is from Honduras.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 1,282 workers in six Swift & Co. plants across the country last week, in what Homeland Security officials called the largest-ever workplace crackdown on illegal immigration. The number included 230 arrests in Worthington.