July 22, 2018
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Brothers who own Mexican restaurants in Maine sentenced to prison for illegal hirings

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — The owners of three Mexican restaurants who pleaded guilty in June to hiring undocumented workers were sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to federal prison time.

Guillermo Fuentes, 38, of Westbrook was sentenced to 37 months followed by two years of supervised release, according to the U.S. attorney’s office, and Hector Fuentes, 41, of Waterville was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release.

The brothers were ordered to forfeit more than $48,000 seized in the investigation, according to a press release issued Monday.

Both pleaded guilty to hiring more than 10 undocumented workers in a 12-month period and to making false statements.

The Fuentes brothers were convicted of the crimes in March 2013 but later were granted a new trial after a jury member called them a derogatory name, according to a previously published report. Their new trial was set for Dec. 1.

The men, who are lawful and permanent residents of the U.S., own the Fajita Grill Mexican Restaurant in Westbrook, the Cancun Mexican Restaurant in Waterville and the Cancun Mexican Restaurant II in Biddeford.

The brothers came to the attention of authorities in April 2008, after Westbrook police stopped several Hispanic men who worked at the Fajita Grill but had no U.S. identification documents, according to court documents.

They faced up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.

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