JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - In August 2019, hundreds of people were detained in raids across Mississippi by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The raids took place over one morning, at seven locations across Mississippi, with 680 people detained (nearly 300 later released) in the largest single-state worksite enforcement operation in the nation’s history.
One year later, ICE officials held a press conference to update the raids and made new announcements on indictments.
U.S. Attorney of the Southern District Michael Hurst first addressed victims he says have suffered as a result of illegal immigration.
“I feel it’s important to highlight an issue, frankly, I don’t believe received much attention last year. And that is, victims of illegal immigration,” Hurst said. “What was lost were those American citizens who had been victimized by this wrongdoing.”
Hurst stated that over 400 American citizens’ identities were stolen or misused, according to Homeland Security Investigations, by the individuals that they encountered in August 2019.
Hurst then announced that four people were indicted for their part in the August 2019 raids.
Two people worked for the company A&B Inc. in Pelahatchie.
Salvador Delgado-Nieves, 57, was charged with three counts of harboring illegal immigrants, three counts of assisting illegal immigrants in falsely representing themselves to be United States citizens, three counts of assisting illegal immigrants in obtaining false Social Security Cards, and one count of making a false statement to law enforcement officials. He faces up to 74 years in federal prison and a $2.5 million in fines.
Iris Villalon, 44, was indicted on one count of harboring an illegal immigrant, and one count of making false statements when she denied that she had hired illegal immigrants for employment, and one count of falsifying employer quarterly wage reports. She faces up to twenty years in prison and $750,000 in fines.
The other two people worked at Pearl River Foods in Carthage.
Carolyn Johnson, 50, former Human Resource Manager, was indicted on six felony counts of harboring an illegal immigrant as well as one count of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. She faces a maximum of up to 84 years in prison and $2.25 million in fines.
Aubrey “Bart” Willis, 39, former Manager, was indicted on five counts of harboring an illegal immigrant. He faces a maximum of up to 50 years and $1.25 million in fines.
All four individuals will appear in court for their arraignment on Thursday.