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August 2019 Mississippi ICE Raid: Managers and HR Federally Indicted

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

Managers, HR personnel, and supervisors, etc. continue to be the target of criminal investigations related to hiring and employment of unauthorized workers and egregious I-9 violations.

What Happened:

Last August we reported on the massive ICE raid and investigation on in Mississippi. It ended up being the largest single-state worksite enforcement operation in existence. The raid resulted in the detainment of 680 unauthorized workers, prosecution of 119 unauthorized workers, and criminal action against the US employers.

The indictments that came out of that investigation have been unsealed, so we are reporting on what we have learned about pending criminal charges for several managers and HR personnel.

  • A&B, Inc. manager Delgado-Nieves faces up to 74 years in prison and $2.5 million in fines for the combined charges of harboring and employing unauthorized workers.

  • A&B, Inc. employee Iris Villalon faces up to 20 years in prison and $750,000 in fines for alleged criminal violations including submitting quarterly wage reports to Social Security Administration with false social security numbers, among other allegations.

  • Pearl River Foods LLC human resources personnel, Carolyn Johnson, faces up to 84 years in prison and $2.25 million in fines.

  • Pearl River Foods LLC manager, Aubrey Willis, is also facing up to 50 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.

Why Does it Matter:

These cases illustrate the larger pattern of ICE enforcement within the Unites States. ICE is holding US business managers, owners, and human resources personnel accountable for employing unauthorized workers and having loose employment practices related to hiring and the I-9 process.

ICE agents are self-described as “doggedly pursuing these criminal violations” and will continue to conduct worksite investigations and pursue criminal action against employers.

Employers can best protect themselves by having strong compliance policies based on ICE Best Practices, which includes completing annual I-9 training and internal audits. Employers should implement proactive compliance instead of waiting for an ICE subpoena or raid. If you are interested in training, you can find it here: I-9 Administrator Training: Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid

Original story here: ICE Conducts Largest Raid Since Trump’s Inauguration: Why E-Verify needs to be used in conjunction with other ICE Best Employment Practices

Danielle Atchison


NOT LEGAL ADVICE: This article is for educational purposes only, it is not legal advice that may be applicable to our situation

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is general information regarding law and policy that may be applicable to your particular HR issue or legal problem. Information provided in this blog, or any of our other public posts, does not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice you can rely upon, please contact your attorney.

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