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114 arrested in Sandusky raids

By Tandem Media Network • Updated Jun 5, 2018 at 5:49 PM

PERKINS TWP. — The Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Border Patrol raided two local garden center locations Tuesday and arrested 114 illegal aliens.

Federal agents executed criminal search warrants at two Corso’s Garden Center stores — in Perkins Township on Milan Road (U.S. 250) and in Castalia on Bardshar Road — said Steve Francis, special agent in charge of Homeland Security investigations, according to information in the Sandusky Register.

The allegations involved harboring and hiring of illegal aliens, aggravated identity theft and impersonation of U.S. persons, Francis said.

Agents carried boxes out from Corso’s location, 3404 Milan Road, as they seized “a lot of documentary evidence,” Francis said.

The execution of warrants represents just the beginning of the investigation, which first started last October, when Border Patrol arrested a suspected document vendor, said Khaalid Walls, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman.

“Now the agents and officers will start conducting interviews,” Francis said. “We are attempting to identify what criminal network brought over 100 illegal aliens to Ohio to work. We are looking at the employers or other networks that are smuggling individual into the U.S. and finding them places of employment.”

The Associated Press reported the raid was part of the Trump administration’s growing crackdown on employers hiring people who are in the country illegally.

“If you are a legitimate business you have nothing to be concerned about, but if you are harboring or hiring illegal aliens you will be identified, arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Francis added.

The illegal aliens who were arrested will be detained pending removal proceedings at facilities in Ohio and Michigan, Walls said.

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