Trial date set in Miss. illegal immigration raid

Published 8:59 pm Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The personnel director accused of knowingly hiring dozens of illegal immigrants who were rounded up in the nation’s largest workplace raid is scheduled for trial Aug. 17.

Jose Humberto Gonzalez was indicted May 6 on 25 counts of conspiracy and employee fraud related to the raid on Howard Industries in Laurel.

Nearly 600 workers at Howard Industries’ transformer plant were detained Aug. 25 when dozens of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided the facility.

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Gonzalez was a personnel director and is accused of hiring workers he knew were in the country illegally.

If convicted, Gonzalez could face a maximum penalty of five years per count plus a maximum fine of $250,000.