Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Earlier today, Kevin Johnson posted views of the federal interpreter who was present in many of the prosecutions of immigrants arrested at the Agriprocessors raid. Here's a story on the prosecution of the owners of the company.
Nigel Duara writes for the Associated Press:
IOWA CITY, Iowa — A federal judge dismissed dozens of immigration charges Thursday against the former manager of a kosher slaughterhouse, at the request of prosecutors who had already won a conviction on multiple counts of financial fraud.
U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade dismissed the 72 immigration charges just hours after the government made its request. In its motion, prosecutors said a conviction in that case would not affect the term Sholom Rubashkin serves because he was convicted of the charges with the longest sentences.
"Dismissal will avoid an extended and expensive trial, conserve limited judicial and prosecutorial resources, and lessen the inconvenience to witnesses," Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Deegan wrote in the motion. U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Bob Teig declined to comment.
Both cases stemmed from a massive immigration raid at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant in Postville in May 2008 — at the time the largest single-site raid in U.S. history. Investigators found 389 illegal immigrants working at the plant, which employed nearly 1,000 people.
The plant cut production before falling into bankruptcy and being sold. Kosher meat production in the U.S. dropped off considerably, sending prices soaring. Postville watched its largest employer — and Rubashkin, one of the town's biggest property owners — enter bankruptcy, while the town's population plunged because of the lack of work.
Rubashkin, a former top manager at the slaughterhouse, initially faced 163 counts in an indictment that followed the raid. Reade divided the trial into 91 counts of financial fraud and 72 counts of immigration violations.
Last week, a jury in Sioux Falls, S.D., found Rubashkin guilty on 86 of the financial fraud charges. Reade has not announced a sentencing date. Click here for the full story.