Loggers who used illegal alien workers owe feds $455,000

2 hours ago • Andrea J. Cook Journal staff

4 SD residents sentenced in immigration case

Five people who employed illegal aliens in their Black Hills timber harvesting operations have agreed to pay the federal government a total of $455,000.

By employing and harboring the unregistered aliens, the Rapid City owners of the logging companies violated the terms of the United States Forest Service contracts requiring them to verify the eligibility of their employees to work and live in the United States. The violations occurred between 2007 and 2012 while the companies held timber thinning contracts.

Angel Munoz-Escalante and Barbara Munoz, doing business as Munoz Logging and Construction Company, have agreed to pay the government a total of $375,000 by Nov. 3, 2017.

Rogelio Escalante, Sr., doing business as Escalante Logging will pay a $50,000 assessment by Aug. 1, 2015.

Rogelio Escalante, Jr., owner of Escalante Logging and Thinning Company, and Raul Munoz, owner of Munoz Thinning, have each agreed to pay assessments of $15,000 by Sept. 2, 2019.

Munoz-Escalante was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison in April for conspiring to harbor aliens. He was ordered to pay $539,507.92 in restitution and forfeited $260,492 in equipment and $108,590 in cash.

Barbara Munoz was convicted of misprision of a felony and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

The senior Escalante was convicted of making a false statement. He was sentenced to six months home confinement and two years probation. He was also ordered to make restitution of $249,155 and forfeited $165,590 in equipment and $38,875 in cash.

Rogelio Escalante, Jr., earlier received six months probation and agreed to pay $90,000 in restitution.

Raul Munoz also received a probationary sentence. He forfeited several pieces of logging equipment and more than $357,000 in currency.