Madison business owner sentenced for harboring illegal immigrants

Geoff Pender, Mississippi Clarion Ledger
Published 2:12 p.m. CT Oct. 9, 2019

Part 2 of a Clarion Ledger interview with U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst following raids in Mississippi last week by ICE.
Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. Cam Bonelli, Mississippi Clarion Ledger

A Madison concrete company owner has been sentenced to prison and fined nearly $80,000 on two counts of harboring an illegal alien after he pleaded guilty in a case from 2017.

U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst in a press release said that Hector Valdez-Loera, 42, of Madison was sentenced Friday to 12 months and one day in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

In April of 2017, Hurst's office said, federal agents were searching for an immigrant fugitive who had a prior order of removal. The agents discovered two other undocumented immigrants living at the same home in Ridgeland and determined one of them had left for work at a Madison Concrete job.

Hector Manuel Valdez-Loera (Photo: Madison County Detention Center)

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Authorities said Madison Concrete, owned by Valdez-Loera, had hired undocumented workers who had either Social Security numbers that did not exist or that belonged to deceased people.

They said Valdez-Loera failed to check E-Verify to validate the workers and that he had provided his financial information to help at least two obtain housing.

Valdez-Loera pleaded guilty to the two counts in May.