Friday, August 31, 2018
By Justin Wier
Thirteen people detained in the raids carried out by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement at the Fresh Mark plant in Salem this year are federally indicted on immigration-related offenses.
All 13 people are indicted on charges of making a false statement of citizenship and using a false Social Security card and state identification card in the name of another person on their applications to work at Fresh Mark.
They are Andres De La Cruz-Lopez, 30; Gusto Gonzalez-Lopez, 37; Samuel Hernandez-Hernandez, 20; Bonifacio Ixcoy-Gonzalez, 18; Domingo Jose-Juan, 46; Geovanie Melendez-Silva, 30; Miguel Pedro Pascual, 20; Clemente Perez-Hernandez, 21; Roberto Santay-Ajanel, 25; Emilio Sente-Juarez, 40; and Pedro Tzep-Lorenzo, 33; all of Guatemala; and Donaciano Ramirez-Ortiz, 45 and Ulises Roblero-Lopez, 36; both of Mexico.
ICE detained 146 workers at the meat-processing plant. More than 80 were detained for immigration proceedings and about 40 remain in custody, according to an ICE spokeswoman.
An ICE spokesman at the time said many of the detainees had been released for health and family concerns. Volunteers said others had entered the country legally and lacked proper documentation at the time of the raid.
The remaining male workers have been in detention at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center on Hubbard Road, which has been the site of several recent protests, including one last week in which five clergymen were detained.
ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations began its investigation of Fresh Mark more than a year ago, based on evidence that the company may have knowingly hired those in the country illegally. Agents also seized documents at Fresh Mark offices in Canton and Massillon.
Brittany Julian, a Fresh Mark spokeswoman, said in a statement that the company has worked with ICE and uses E-Verify, a program that compares information on employee eligibility forms with U.S. government records.
The ICE spokeswoman said Homeland Security Investigations is continuing to build on its investigation and may seek additional prosecutions.
The action was the largest workplace raid carried out by ICE under the Donald Trump Administration at the time. ICE carried out a raid Wednesday in Texas that resulted in the detention of 160 workers.