Tuesday, November 16, 2010
SAN DIEGO A wholesale bakery owner and four employees accused in a scheme to hire and harbor illegal immigrants at his Otay Mesa business agreed to skip being indicted amid negotiations today aimed at the men pleading guilty in about two weeks.
Jesse William Fadick, 64, is charged with hiring at least 10 illegal immigrants to work at his S & S at 2545 Britannia Blvd. near the Mexico border. He is free on $75,000 bond.
Bakery supervisors Rigoberto Sarmiento-Machuca, 35, and Rogelio Machuca-Sarmiento, 46, and employee Abel Baizabal, 38, are charged with accepting Social Security cards and Permanent Resident cards from prospective workers even though they knew they were false.
A fifth defendant, Jean Pierre Martinez, is charged with falsely claiming on an I-9 Employee Eligibility Form that he viewed the documents of a potential hire.
By waiving the indictment, the defendants cleared the way for prosecutors to continue the case without taking evidence before a grand jury.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Major ordered the five to be in court Nov. 30 for a change of plea hearing.
Baizabal attorney George Bye said outside court that his client would plead guilty in exchange for prosecutors not seeking the maximum sentence.
The penalty for Fadick could include the forfeiture of business assets, according to the court documents.
According to a complaint, Immigration and Customs Enforcement got a tip alleging that more than half of the bakery's workforce was in the United States illegally, including Sarmiento-Machuca, Machuca-Sarmiento and Baizabal.
Fadick was accused of altering his workers' delivery schedule or keeping the workers at the bakery to avoid immigration agents.
During a raid at the bakery, agents arrested 41 illegal aliens and identified 32 other employees, all working at the bakery, according to the complaint.
Three other illegal alien employees were found during a search of Machuca-Sarmiento's home, authorities said. Of those arrested, 19 of the illegal immigrant employees were charged as material witnesses in the complaint.