Westbrook eatery raided; owners facing charges

Posted Sept. 22, 2011, at 11:16 a.m.

WESTBROOK, Maine — A popular Mexican restaurant was stormed by armed federal agents on Wednesday, and court documents say it has employed illegal immigrants since it opened in 2006.

Guillermo Fuentes, 35, who owns the Fajita Grill on Main Street, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens and employment of illegal aliens, according to a Portland Press Herald report.

Fuentes’ brother, Hector, who owns Cancun Mexican restaurants in Biddeford and Waterville, also was arrested and is facing the same charges.

A tip from Westbrook police Capt. Tim Roth led the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to investigate the Fajita Grill. Roth subsequently informed the federal agency that in April 2008, Westbrook officers pulled over Hispanic men in routine traffic stops who appeared to work at the restaurant and claimed to be from Mexico.

The men allegedly could not provide any U.S. identification.

Conspiracy to harbor illegal immigrants is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Engaging in a pattern or practice of hiring unauthorized aliens for employment is punishable by up to six months in prison or a fine of up to $3,000 for each unauthorized immigrant.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/22/news/police-beat/westbrook-eatery-raided-owners-facing-charges/ printed on July 23, 2014