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August 29, 2017San Francisco, CA, United StatesOperational

Bay Area man charged with harboring illegal aliens in ICE-led probe

SAN FRANCISCO – Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested a Bay Area man Tuesday who is charged in a federal indictment with harboring illegal alien workers for commercial advantage or financial gain.

Job Torres Hernandez, 47, of Hayward, is accused of harboring at least five people whom he allegedly knew had come to the U.S. illegally. According to the indictment, which was handed down last week and unsealed Tuesday, the defendant had harbored and employed the illegal aliens since at least July 2015. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.

At his initial appearance in federal court Tuesday, the government alleged Torres failed to pay his workers minimum wage. During an enforcement operation Tuesday, HSI special agents recovered seven individuals who apparently lived in a warehouse owned by the defendant. 

“Illegal labor schemes often exploit defenseless individuals who are the most vulnerable members of our society,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of HSI San Francisco. “As important as it is to identify and prosecute those responsible, HSI’s priority is rescuing the victims. Going forward we’ll continue to work with our partners to protect our communities from practices that have no place in our modern day society.”

Torres remains in federal custody at this time pending further court appearances. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

HSI encourages members of the public who have information related to this investigation to contact ICE’s tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or alert local law enforcement.

Updated: 09/07/2017