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08/27/2008

A second Agriprocessors supervisor pleads guilty to immigration crimes

This is the second guilty plea in two weeks by Postville, Iowa, supervisors

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - An Agriprocessors supervisor who helped harbor illegal aliens pleaded guilty here Wednesday in federal court. U.S. Attorney Matt M. Dummermuth, Northern District of Iowa, announced the plea; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted the investigation.

Martin De La Rosa-Loera, 43, of Postville, Iowa, was convicted of aiding and abetting the harboring of illegal aliens.

According to information disclosed in court, in April and May of 2008, De La Rosa-Loera knew that the crime of harboring illegal aliens was occurring where he worked in Postville. De La Rosa-Loera knowingly assisted others in committing the offense while knowing or recklessly disregarding that the aliens were in the United States illegally. His plea agreement also requires him to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in their ongoing investigation.

According to a criminal complaint filed July 3, De La Rosa-Loera allegedly supervised four departments at Agriprocessors Inc., in Postville, including the poultry-kill department.

Another supervisor from Postville, Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza, pleaded guilty Aug. 20 to conspiring to hire illegal aliens, and to aiding and abetting the hiring of illegal aliens. According to a criminal complaint, Guerrero-Espinoza allegedly supervised four departments at Agriprocessors in Postville, including the beef-kill department. According to information disclosed in court, Guerrero-Espinoza's plea agreement also requires him to cooperate with law enforcement.

Sentencing for De La Rosa-Loera before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be scheduled after a presentence report is prepared. De La Rosa-Loera remains in the U.S. Marshals Service custody pending sentencing. He faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and supervised release for up to three years. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter E. Deegan Jr., C.J. Williams and Matt Cole, Northern District of Iowa. It was investigated by ICE.