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July 28, 2020Chicago, ILUnited StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

Chicago-area woman pleads guilty to federal labor trafficking

CHICAGO — A Cicero, Illinois, woman who helped numerous illegal aliens from Guatemala enter the United States pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal labor trafficking charge.

U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr., Northern District of Illinois; Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Chicago; and Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr., FBI Chicago, announced the guilty plea. U.S. Department of Labor, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and Chicago Police Department provided valuable assistance.

Concepcion Malinek, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of labor trafficking. The charge is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.

Malinek admitted in a plea declaration that she assisted 10 undocumented Guatemalan immigrants with illegally entering the U.S. from 2009 to 2019.

Once in the country, Malinek arranged for the immigrants to reside in her home in Cicero while they worked in nearby jobs.

Malinek then threatened to contact U.S. immigration authorities if the immigrants wouldn’t pay her a substantial portion of their earnings.

U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang set sentencing for Oct. 20, 2020. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher V. Parente represented the government.

Updated: 07/30/2020