10 Indicted in Alien Smuggling Ring
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ The president of a T-shirt company and nine others were charged Monday with smuggling Mexican workers into the United States to work at the company’s plant in Georgia.
Fred Parrish, president of Atlantic Finishing Inc., with factories in Trenton, Ga., and Henegar, Ala., hired the immigrants under false names and concealed their immigration status with bogus documents, the indictment said.
``This case illustrates how demand created by a U.S. company has the effect of luring and recruiting Mexican nationals and others from Latin America to cross the international border,″ U.S. Attorney John Kelly said at a news conference.
The indictments mark the first time the Immigration and Naturalization Service has charged a United States company with smuggling Mexican nationals, Kelly said.
For three years, Parrish allegedly recruited the illegal immigrants from co-defendants Saul and Rachel Resendiz of Dalton, Ga., who are suspected of smuggling several groups of aliens from Mexico into New Mexico and on to Georgia.
The case began a year ago when the U.S. Border Patrol stopping a van loaded with illegal immigrants near Hatch, N.M. The initial stop led to a multistate investigation dubbed ``I-25 Confederation-Dixie Junction,″ Kelly said.
There was no answer at Atlantic Finishing’s Georgia or Alabama plants Monday. There was no answer at Parrish’s home in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The 10 defendants, from Alabama, Georgia, New Mexico and Tennessee, are all charged with conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens and other conspiracy charges.