APwire

Meatpacking plant owner pleads guilty after immigration raid

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GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The owner of a Tennessee meatpacking plant where a federal immigration raid took more than 100 people into custody faces prison time after pleading guilty to employing unauthorized immigrants.

The U.S. attorney's office in Greeneville says 61-year-old James Brantley pleaded guilty Wednesday to tax fraud, wire fraud, and employment of unauthorized illegal aliens.

Brantley owns Southeastern Provision meatpacking plant in Bean Station. Federal prosecutors say a raid of the business in April found at least 104 unauthorized immigrants working there. Brantley had reported he had 44 wage-earning employees to the Internal Revenue Service.

Court records show Brantley dodged nearly $1.3 million in federal payroll taxes over the past decade and he underpaid employees for overtime work.

Brantley faces up to 20 years in prison or more at sentencing Feb. 4.

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