Local News

3 Smithfield Foods Workers Sentenced for Immigration Violations

Posted January 29, 2008
Updated January 30, 2008

— Three people arrested a year ago at a Smithfield Foods Inc. processing plant in Bladen County have been sentenced to federal prison for immigration violations, authorities said Tuesday.

Twenty-one suspected illegal immigrants were arrested at the plant in Tar Heel on Jan. 27, 2007, following a lengthy investigation into the use of false identification documents by plant workers. Investigators determined that 18 of the 21 were illegal immigrants who had assumed others' names and Social Security numbers.

Abimale Sanaoz-Vasquez, Benito Gutierrez-Lopez and Jose Ramirez-Martinez pleaded guilty in November to fraud and misuse of documents. They were each sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years on supervised release.

Senior U.S. District Judge James Fox also ordered each to be deported at the conclusion of their prison term.


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  • mep Jan 29, 2008

    Only 3!!!!
    I believe the entire meat packing industry is operated by illegals. Bet if the liberals would allow Social Security numbers to be checked for fraud prior to and while employed a lot more would be caught. Then of course none of us could afford to eat what little meat that would actually make it to market.... but oh well.

  • Doctor Dataclerk Jan 29, 2008

    O.K....18 of 21 were illegal, it took 1 year to determine that, and only 3 go to prison. Were the heck are the other 15 now? Working with the 15,000,000 illegals that we are unwilling to do anything about!!!!!