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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

Defendants found guilty of harboring aliens

Hundreds of illegal aliens employed by local contractor after Hurricane Rita

LAKE CHARLES, La. - Four contractors who formed an "alliance" to employ hundreds of illegal aliens here after Hurricane Rita were convicted today following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

Following a ten-day jury trial, four defendants, Rodney Ryder, Wayne Adams, Keith Smith, and Richard W. Townley, were convicted of conspiracy to Harbor Certain Aliens and Harboring Aliens. Additionally, Townley was convicted of Prohibition of an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business.

Ryder is the owner of R&R Contracting Services. Adams and Smith are the owners of American Workforce Solutions and Townley is the owner of Provision Funds. The defendants concealed and harbored illegal aliens from the detection of law enforcement officials.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 29, 2008. All defendants are facing a maximum possible sentence of ten years in prison on the conspiracy and harboring counts (per count), and a $250,000 fine (per count), or both. Additionally, Townley is facing an additional five years in prison on the unlicensed money transmitting business count and a fine of up to $250,000.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James T. McManus and Myers P. Namie.