The former manager of a Postville Agriprocessors plant Sholom Rubashkin was arrested by federal immigration agents on Thursday morning. Rubashkin is the son of the company's owner and faces charges of conspiracy to harbor undocumented immigrants for financial gain, aiding and abetting document fraud and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft.
Federal agents raided the plant on May 12, arresting 389 people in what was, at the time, the largest immigration raid in U.S. history. Agents reportedly seized dozens of fraudulent permanent resident alien cards during the plant's raid.
Reports suggest that Rubashkin was aware that it was likely that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be raiding his plant and he agreed to a $4500 cash loan to those employees without identity documents. Both parties understood that this money was to be used to acquire false documentation and Rubashkin actively participated in the finding these documents.
Rubashkin is the highest-ranking executive to face arrest since stepped-up immigration raids on meat packing plants began in 2006.
Earlier this week, human resource employee Laura Althouse plead guilty to conspiracy to harbor undocumented immigrants for financial gain and aggravated identity theft. Two other supervisors faced charges and have entered guilty pleas.
In September, the owners and managers of the plant were charged with 9,311 misdemeanors alleging they legally hired minors and let children under 16 handle dangerous equipment.
Iowa authorities have fined Agriprocessors $10 million for wage violations and Sholom Rubashkin faces a maximum of 22 years in federal prison.
Updated: Wed, Jul 5th 2017 @ 2:18pm EDT