The owner of a southwest Missouri roofing company pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to hiring illegal aliens as a result of a worksite enforcement investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Assistant U.S. Attorney Robyn L. McKee, Western District of Missouri, is prosecuting this case.
Russell D. Taylor, 31 of Bolivar, MO admitted that from August 2006 through April 2008, he hired, contracted and sub-contracted for hire to obtain illegal aliens to work for him. By pleading guilty, Taylor also agreed to forfeit to the government $185,363, which represents the amount of proceeds obtained as a result of the offense. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the government and Taylor agreed that a fine of $36,000 is appropriate, representing a $3,000 fine for each of the 12 illegal aliens who worked under the supervision of Juan Pacheco-Herrera. Pacheco-Herrera pleaded guilty in a separate but related case to harboring illegal aliens.
Taylor has waived his right to a grand jury and was pleaded guilty on Sept. 14 before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England, Western District of Missouri. The government and the defendant also agreed that five years of probation is a reasonable and just sentence in this case. As a condition of his probation, Taylor must implement an employment-compliance plan and pay the $185,363 money judgment in monthly installments during the first 30 months of probation.
“Employers in all industries and locations must comply with the nation’s immigration laws if we are to have an effective immigration enforcement strategy in the United States,” said Michael Spinella, resident agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Springfield. “We will use all our investigative authorities to pursue employers who take advantage of illegal labor to make an unlawful profit.”
In April, ICE implemented a new, comprehensive strategy to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect employment opportunities for the nation’s lawful workforce. Under this strategy, ICE is focusing its resources on the auditing and investigation of employers suspected of cultivating illegal workplaces by knowingly employing illegal workers.