BANGOR, Maine – Three of the four Hispanic men arrested last month while working at a Clinton dairy farm waived indictment and pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to document fraud. The fourth is scheduled to do the same today.
Ruben Figueroa-Guterierrez, 27, Ildefonso Zamoa-Davila, 24, Rigoberto Figueroa-Aguilar, 28, and Rogelio Figueroa-Figueroa, 22, all of unknown towns in Mexico, were arrested on July 24. All but the youngest man pleaded guilty Thursday through an interpreter.
The Figueroa men are believed to be related, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The men, according to court documents, have been in the country several years. They worked at the dairy farm for about 18 months.
A tip to the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department that men were working illegally and living in a trailer at the Flood Farm led U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to them.
Owners of the farm have not been charged.
The men, who have been held without bail since their arrests, face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. Sentencing dates have not been set.
In similar cases, defendants who have no criminal histories have been sentenced to time served after 90 to 100 days in jail, then turned over to immigration officials for deportation proceedings.
In an unrelated case, a native of Honduras was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Bangor to six months in prison or time served on document fraud charges.
Miguel Villanueva, 27, of Lubec and a native of Honduras, was arrested in February in his room at the Quoddy Dolphin Hotel in Lubec.
Villanueva was fired last year from Worcester Wreath in Harrington for having invalid work documents. Agents with ICE found him when they went to ISF Trading Inc., a sea cucumber processing plant in Lubec, to review documents that substantiate employees’ eligibility to work in the United States, according to court documents.
He told agents he had worked at ISF Trading for three years.