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Connecticut bakery owner pleads guilty to federal immigration charge

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - David B. Fein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced today that Anthony DiBenedetto, 64, of North Branford, Conn., waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of unlawful employment of illegal aliens. This guilty plea is the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

According to court documents and statements made in court, DiBenedetto owns and operates Rocco's Bakery, with locations in New Haven and Meriden, Conn. From approximately 2000 through May 2008, DiBenedetto employed at least 10 individuals at his bakeries knowing that they were in the country unlawfully and were not authorized to work.

U.S. District Judge Mark R. Kravitz has scheduled sentencing for April 14, 2011, at which time DiBenedetto faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. DiBenedetto also may be ordered to forfeit a money judgment in an amount that will be determined by the court.

This matter has been investigated by ICE HSI and the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.