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07/03/2008

2 alleged supervisors arrested at Agriprocessors in Postville

Public's assistance sought in locating third defendant

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Two alleged supervisors at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant in Postville, Iowa, were arrested today on various criminal immigration and fraudulent identity charges. U.S. Attorney Matt M. Dummermuth, Northern District of Iowa, made the announcement; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is conducting the investigation.

Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza, 35, and Martin De La Rosa-Loera, 43, were arrested this morning at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant. Both Guerrero-Espinoza and De La Rosa-Loera were charged with aiding and abetting the possession and use of fraudulent identity documents, and encouraging aliens to illegally reside in the United States. Guerrero-Espinoza was also charged with aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft. The charges are contained in Complaints filed today in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.

Guerrero-Espinoza 's Complaint alleges he is a supervisor of four departments at Agriprocessors in Postville, including the Beef Kill department. The Complaint alleges that, a few days before the May 12, 2008, execution of a search warrant at Agriprocessors, Guerrero-Espinoza told a group of employees they needed new IDs and Social Security numbers to continue working at the company, and they would need to provide Guerrero-Espinoza with a photograph and $200 or $220. Fraudulent resident alien cards were allegedly supplied to Agriprocessors workers. The Complaint also alleges that the May 12 search resulted in seizing dozens of fraudulent permanent alien resident cards from offices within the human resources department at Agriprocessors.

De La Rosa-Loera's Complaint alleges he is a supervisor of four departments at Agriprocessors in Postville, including the Poultry Kill department. The Complaint alleges that, about 15 days before the May 12, 2008, execution of a search warrant at Agriprocessors, De La Rosa-Loera told some undocumented alien employees they could no longer work at Agriprocessors because their social security numbers were bad, and they needed new documents. De La Rosa-Loera later allegedly told those employees they could return to work using the same names previously used for employment. Guerrero-Espinoza and De La Rosa-Loera are scheduled for initial appearances at 4 p.m. July 3 in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

The public's assistance is being sought in apprehending Hosam Amara, 43, last known to live in Postville. A federal warrant has been issued for his arrest based on a sealed Complaint. Anyone with information as to Amara's whereabouts should call ICE at (866) DHS-2-ICE (347-2423).

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation; a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Deegan, CJ Williams and Matt Cole, Northern District of Iowa, are prosecuting this case.