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Court asked to limit statements made by Department of Homeland Security

August 18, 2018

A motion, in the United States District Court, filed Monday, Aug. 13 by JP and Sons, LLC of O’Neill, a co-defendant in a case involving harboring illegal aliens, is expected to be ruled on soon.

JP and Sons’ attorney, Ross Pesek, requested an immediate oral argument requesting the court to issue an order limiting the Department of Homeland Security’s extrajudicial statements to media regarding the immigration case.

Pesek argued the DHS statements and actions during and after a raid Wednesday, Aug. 8, “has led to a myriad of articles in local and national news organizations. Many of these statements seem to be not only false, but also prejudicial and wide-ranging.”

The motion states, “to date, the Department of Homeland Security’s public remarks and position regarding the defendants’ arrests and indictments have been made available to the following organizations:

- Omaha World Herald’s Alia Conley, “One official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement equated the conspiracy to “slave labor,” saying many workers had to pay fees to get jobs;”

- Lincoln Journal Star’s Lori Pilger, “On Wednesday, ICE called it a for-profit fraud that ‘exploited illegal alien laborers;’”

- WOWT’s Aug. 9, 2018 article titled, “More information about ICE raids revealed;”

- KETV’s Michelle Ban and Taylor Barth’s articles, “Federal indictments in ICE raid reveals $8 million money laundering scheme” and “O’Neill community reacts to ICE raids;”

- KMTV’s Jon Kipper’s article, “Hispanic community in O’Neill scared after raids;”

- FOX42’s Stephanie Grace’s article, “17 people federally indicted in Nebraska ICE operation,”

- ABC 8’s Joe Harris’s article, “UPDATE: Following ICE raids, 17 charged in federal court;”

- NTV ABC’s Steven White’s article, “Many families reunited following ICE raids;”

-Telemundo Nebraska’s Ruben Pereira’s article, “17 personas acusadas de explotación en operaciones de inmigración en Nebraska,” which translates to “17 people accused of immigration operations exploitation in Nebraska”

-and a Facebook post claiming shock and horror to discover such criminal activity in the community. See, http://newschannelnebraska.com/local-news/oneill-facebook-post-supporting-ice-goes-viral/.

Defendant JP and Sons asserts people in a tight knit community are shocked to hear the allegations because they have never witnessed evidence of slavery, abuse or human trafficking nor has the federal government filed charges relating to human trafficking.

JP and Sons allege the statements made could prejudice a potential jury and have asked for immediate oral arguments.

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