Criminal Justice News

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Former Staffing Agency Owner Sentenced to 30 Months for Harboring and Shielding Illegal Aliens

FAYETTEVILLE, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that Valentin Gutierrez was sentenced yesterday to 30 months in prison for harboring and shielding illegal aliens for financial gain as part of a scheme to sell illegal labor to companies in three states. United States District Court Judge Jimm Larry Hendren imposed the sentence and also ordered Gutierrez to pay $10,000 in fines and to serve two years’ supervised release upon his release from prison.

According to documents filed in this case, on or about November 12, 2008, Homeland Security Investigations in Fayetteville, Arkansas received information that Valentin Gutierrez was employing illegal aliens and distributing counterfeit immigration documents and counterfeit Social Security cards. An examination of Gutierrez’s financial records revealed that Gutierrez had made bank deposits in excess of $6.4 million between May 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008, from the sale of illegal alien labor to various companies in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama. As a result of the ongoing financial investigation, Homeland Security seized Gutierrez’s bank accounts and forfeited approximately $117,100 that was traced to the proceeds of harboring and shielding illegal aliens. On May 10, 2012, Gutierrez entered a guilty plea to one count of harboring and shielding illegal aliens for financial gain.

This case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with the assistance of task force officers from the Rogers Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Springdale Police Department. The FBI also assisted on this case. Assistant United States Attorney David A. Harris prosecuted this case for the United States.

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