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March 5, 2019Lincoln, NE, United StatesLabor Exploitation

Nebraska illegal alien pleads guilty to conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens

Generated more than $5.6 million in illegal proceeds by keeping monies withheld for taxes, and charging a $50 to $75 paycheck-cashing fee

LINCOLN, Neb. — An illegal alien from Mexico pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to his role in a conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens for profit.

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

Juan Pablo Sanchez-Delgado, 40, of Mexico, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl R. Zwart. Conspiring to harbor aliens, when done for financial gain, is punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Sanchez-Delgado admitted that between January 2015 and July 2017, he conspired with supervisors at multiple agricultural corporations to supply those companies with alien workers who were not authorized to work or remain in the United States. The corporations contracted with Sanchez-Delgado in an attempt to avoid criminal responsibilities for labor violations. Sanchez-Delgado, an illegal alien himself, provided hundreds of illegal workers to various corporations.

Sanchez-Delgado was not paid by these companies; but he took money from the alien workforce by purporting to withhold state and federal employment taxes and converted this money to his own use. These aliens were also required to cash their paychecks at one of Sanchez-Delgado’s businesses and pay a $50 to $75 check-cashing fee. Sanchez-Delgado generated $5,648,519 through this scheme.

Sentencing was scheduled before Chief Judge John M. Gerrard on May 31, 2019, in Lincoln. As part of his plea agreement, Sanchez-Delgado agreed to forfeit four residences in Las Vegas, Nevada, with more than $1 million in equity. He will also forfeit bank accounts and cash totaling more than $178,000, which were proceeds of the harboring conspiracy.

This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska.

Updated: 03/07/2019