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Poultry Plant Manager Arrested In Immigration Probe

Personnel manager for House of Raeford Farms was indicted by a federal grand jury on 20 counts that she told employees to use the falsified forms.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A manager at a Greenville poultry factory under federal investigation was arrested Wednesday and charged with telling employees to use falsified immigration documents, according to court filings.

Elaine Crump, listed as personnel manager for House of Raeford Farms, was arrested a day after she was indicted by a federal grand jury on 20 counts that she told employees to use the falsified forms.

Crump told human resources employees to use I-9 forms -- used by employers to verify that employees are authorized to work in the United States -- that had already been signed by an employee who no longer worked for the company, according to the indictment.

No attorney was listed for Crump, who did not immediately return a voice message left her office. Court documents show a judge set her bond on Wednesday at $25,000.

A May inspection by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents uncovered records showing plant employees had used invalid alien registration numbers and Social Security numbers, or listed numbers as their own that belonged to others.

Last month, federal agents charged five House of Raeford employees with making false statements and possession of either false identification or identification belonging to someone else. Simon Gutierrez-Gomez, Juan Macias-Rodriguez, Juan Juarez-Suarez, Guadalupe Neri-Templos and Evaristo Merino-Vasquez are scheduled to be arraigned later this month.

The Charlotte Observer reported in February that 42 of 52 Hispanic current and former plant workers it had spoken with were in the country illegally. The Observer also said former supervisors said managers at the North Carolina-based company were aware that undocumented immigrants worked for the business.

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