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August 5, 2015Cedar Rapids, IA, United StatesLabor Exploitation

Iowa dairy farmer pleads guilty to harboring illegal aliens

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — An eastern Iowa man pleaded guilty in federal court today to harboring illegal aliens for financial gain.

This guilty plea resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Michael Thomas Millenkamp, 47, of Earlville, Iowa, was convicted on one count of harboring, encouraging and inducing aliens to reside unlawfully in the United States.  

In a plea agreement, Millenkamp admitted that between 2007 and 2011, he employed several illegal aliens at his business, Mike Millenkamp Dairy Cattle. Some of his illegal alien employees were permitted to reside at one or more farms owned by Millenkamp. Court records even show he admitted to friends that he was committing this crime.

As part of the plea agreement, Millenkamp is required to engage in ongoing compliance with the employment eligibility verification laws, and to obtain a certification that his animal-feeding operations are in compliance with Iowa’s water-quality standards. If the environmental assessment indicates deficiencies in Millenkamp’s operations, Millenkamp will be required to remediate those problems.

As part of his plea agreement, Millenkamp also agreed to pay a total financial sanction of $250,000 to the United States, and to make at least two public presentations to statewide farm groups to bring awareness to his case.

Millenkamp was released on bond pending sentencing. Millenkamp faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a $100 in special assessment, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

Updated: 08/07/2015