Blueberry worker first of five sentenced in false-papers case

Posted April 15, 2009, at 9:11 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Mexican national who worked in Maine’s blueberry industry was sentenced to time served Tuesday in U.S. District Court for possessing false immigration documents.

Fredi Perez, 23, was one of five Mexican men arrested in December who had submitted false documents when they sought employment with Jasper Wyman & Son, according to court documents. Perez was living in Harrington at the time of his arrest.

The men were arrested, according to court documents, on Dec. 10 after an inspection of the company’s employment records conducted last year by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

No charges have been filed against the company.

Perez was the first of the five former Wyman workers to be sentenced, according to court records. The others all have pleaded guilty to the same charge — possessing false immigration documents.

Jose Menuibar, 23, is scheduled to be sentenced later this month. Ismael Ramirez de Ochoa, 38, and Miguel Sepulveda, 33, are scheduled to be sentenced next month. A sentencing date for Javier Colegio, 40, has not yet been set.

All of the men faced up to 10 years each in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000 each. After completing their sentencing, all are expected to be deported to Mexico.

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