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12/12/2008

Former employees of Idaho Truss face criminal charges

BOISE, Idaho - Sixteen former employees of Idaho Truss in Nampa, Idaho, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on federal charges, including possession of counterfeit alien registration receipt cards, misuse of Social Security numbers, and illegal entry or re-entry after deportation.

The indictments, which were handed down late Tuesday, are the result of a worksite enforcement investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). All of those charged in the case are Mexican nationals. The defendants are: Rafael Castillo-Tellez, 28; Antonio M. Garcia-Gomez, 32; Hilario Leyva-Guzman, 31; Juan Sergio Juarez-Contreras, 25; Juan Vidal Lopez-Zaragosa, 36; Juan Martinez-Gonzalez, 39; Juan Manuel Miramontes-Garcia, 25; Rafael Quezada Bejar, 30; Humberto Quinteros, 24; Hubaldo Gorgonio Rojas, 22; Rodrigo Salinas-Cervantes, 33; Julio Vargas-Ortiz, 27; Santos Lopez-Serratos, 36; Miguel Zamora-Urena, 40; Juan Manuel Diaz-Juarez, 36; and Gregorio Villareal Ruiz, 36.

Of those indicted, 12 have already entered guilty pleas. They include: Castillo-Tellez, Garcia-Gomez, Leyva-Guzman, Juarez-Contreras, Lopez-Zaragosa, Miramontes-Garcia, Bejar, Quinteros, Rojas, Salinas-Cervantes, Vargas-Ortiz, and Lopez-Serratos. They all immediately pleaded guilty to illegal reentry, were sentenced to time served and returned to ICE custody for removal from the United States. Three defendants, Zamora-Urena, Diaz-Juarez, and Ruiz are scheduled to go on trial February 10, 2009. Martinez-Gonzalez has not yet entered a plea.

"Identifying and documenting the use of fraudulent Social Security numbers and other fake identity documents is a key piece of any worksite enforcement investigation," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations that oversees Idaho. "In this case, ICE had previously notified the employer that some of its workers had provided counterfeit Social Security numbers to gain employment at Idaho Truss."