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Thread: Bean Station ICE raid: Slaughterhouse owner gets 18 months in prison

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Bean Station ICE raid: Slaughterhouse owner gets 18 months in prison

    Bean Station ICE raid: Slaughterhouse owner gets 18 months in prison

    Matt Lakin, Knoxville News Sentine
    Published 12:31 p.m. ET July 31, 2019 | Updated 2:34 p.m. ET July 31, 2019


    Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke in a law enforcement conference held inside the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Calvin Mattheis, calvin.mattheis@knoxnews.com



    GREENEVILLE - The man whose tax-dodging kicked off the largest immigration raid in recent Tennessee history will serve a year-and-a-half in federal prison.

    "I cannot impose a probationary sentence in this case," Senior U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer said Wednesday. "In my view, to do so would undermine respect for our court system and create a situation where people would draw the conclusion that a certain class of people are treated more leniently than others."


    James Brantley, 62, ducked about $2.5 million in payroll taxes by hiring undocumented immigrants to work in the Southeastern Provision slaughterhouse in Bean Station and paying them in cash for 20 years, according to federal court records. That scheme ended April 5, 2018, when agents of the IRS and the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement swept down on the slaughterhouse and rounded up 97 men and women in what ranked at the time as the nation's biggest workplace raid in a decade ó and the largest in Tennessee since the 1990s.

    James Brantley is the owner of a Grainger County slaughterhouse, Southeastern Provision, that was targeted in a federal immigration raid. (Photo: Travis Dorman / USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee)


    Brantley pleaded guilty in September to federal charges of tax evasion, wire fraud and employing unauthorized immigrants. He offered the judge an apology Wednesday.

    "I would like to say I'm sorry for what I've done and take full responsibility for my actions," Brantley said. "I apologize to my family, my community and my employees."


    Probation not enough


    Brantley and his lawyer, Norman McKellar, had asked he be spared jail time. Prosecutors praised Brantley's cooperation with agents from the day of the raid and recommended a reduced sentence.

    But the judge called a sentence of probation only a step too far. He sentenced Brantley to 18 months behind bars, plus three years on probation once he's released.

    U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer is shown in an undated photo. (Photo: Greeneville Sun)


    "This is an offense made even more serious in my view because of the political climate of today," Greer said.

    "The impact has been quite severe for many (of the plant's former workers). Many of them have been separated from their wives, their husbands, their children. Some of them have gone to jail."


    Seventy-three of the men and women arrested in the raid still wait to learn whether they'll be deported. Others have already been sent back to their native countries. Ten who'd been deported before spent time in jail.


    Advocates for immigrants noted the contrast as well.

    "Itís important that we hold employers like Brantley accountable," said Stephanie Teatro, co-director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. "Our government should focus on enforcing the labor rights that protect all workers in this country - the rights to a safe workplace, free from wage theft and discrimination.

    But instead of focusing enforcement on the employer, ICE made a decision to engage in the most aggressive, violent form of enforcement it could take at this worksite.





    "We can hold employers like Brantley accountable for their misconduct without punishing workers with militaristic raids that are deeply disruptive to local communities, leave children stranded without their parents, terrify entire communities and devastate local economies."

    Fines paid, lawsuits pending


    Federal prosecutors focused their case on Brantley's unpaid taxes for the past 10 years, which added up to nearly $1.5 million. He paid that amount promptly in full, according to his lawyer.

    State inspectors fined Brantley $41,775 after the raid for forcing the workers, most of them immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala, to work in dirty, unsafe conditions. All fines have been paid, according to the state Department of Labor.


    Federal labor regulators sued Brantley earlier this year for paying substandard wages and denying workers overtime. Brantley insisted at Wednesday's hearing he never mistreated anyone.

    Southeastern Provision, a cattle slaughterhouse in Bean Station, Tenn., was the target of a federal immigration raid that rounded up 97 people on April 5, 2018. (Photo: Travis Dorman / USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee)


    "I treated them not as employees but as friends," he told the judge.

    The slaughterhouse's floor supervisors, Carl and Jason Kinser, were sentenced to three years each on probation in June. Brantley has transferred ownership of the slaughterhouse to his wife, Pamela.


    Seven of the former workers ó including one who was in the U.S. legally ó have sued the agents who conducted the raid, claiming agents cursed, shoved and punched them. No trial in that case has been set.


    The last of the workers' immigration cases are set to be heard in 2021.

    https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/...on/1867197001/

    Beezer likes this.
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  3. #3
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    DUCKED payroll taxes, putting money into OUR social security and Medicare, AND we foot the bill for their anchor rats, hospital bills, crime and everything else they steal from us!

    Deport the whole family!

    Send the message to these employers to start FIRING these illegals now and make them go home!
    Truther likes this.
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

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