Immigration Raid: Officials had Inside Source

By Josh Hinkle, Anchor/Reporter

WATERLOO - The move to place judges at the Agriprocessors detention site is unprecedented in Iowa. The number of arrests and anticipated prosecutions is just too large for the courthouses in both Cedar Rapids and Sioux City to handle. That kind of move really shows the impact of this investigation.

There are more than 300 arrests so far all because of a 60-page search warrant. Jumping right in, TV9 learned about a former supervisor who gave agents a fair share of dirt. This anonymous person says the plant's human resources manager was hiring numerous illegal workers from Mexico, Guatemala and Eastern Europe. This person estimates that 80 percent of the workers under his or her guidance were illegal.

The supervisor also alleges finding a meth lab in the plant, even workers carrying weapons. All of this, not to mention several workers having the same Social Security number.

Those detained Monday morning probably didn't know that several former and current co-workers were a big part of this search warrant. Read through it, you'll find one of these workers -- listed only as Source #7 -- keeps popping up. Immigration agents wired this person with an electronic audio monitoring device as he or she applied for work at the meat processing plant.

Source #7's audio revealed a human resources employee saying it was okay to work there without a social security number. Others told Source #7 how you could work there without papers completely and just receive cash. A supervisor at the plant even told Source #7 to fix his or her Social Security number to be able to work. Source #7 eventually got a job at Agriprocessors hanging cattle.

What Source #7, along with other sources named in the affidavit, found was enough for agents to suspect Social Security fraud, ID theft and illegal workers at the plant. Click on the related content links above left to read the entire affidavit.

Email Josh Hinkle at Josh.Hinkle@kcrg.com
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