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Former Staffing Agency Owner Sentenced to 30 Months for Harboring Illegal Workers

Former Staffing Agency Owner Sentenced to 30 Months for Harboring Illegal Workers
A former staffing agency owner was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to harboring and shielding illegal aliens for financial gain.

Conner Eldridge, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced the sentence imposed on Valentin Gutierrez by U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren of Fayetteville.

Gutierrez was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and to serve two years of supervised release following his prison sentence. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also seized $117,100 from his bank accounts.

According to documents filed in the case, Homeland Security began investigating Gutierrez's Fayetteville business in November 2008 after receiving information suggesting he was employing illegal immigrants and distributing counterfeit immigration documents and Social Security cards.

An examination of Gutierrez's financial records, according to Eldridge's press release, showed that he had made bank deposits of more than $6.4 million between May 1 and Dec. 31 of 2008 "from the sale of illegal alien labor to various companies in Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama."

Gutierrez pleaded guilty on May 10 to a single count of harboring and shielding illegal aliens for financial gain.

This case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations in Fayetteville with assistance of task force officers from the Rogers Police Department, Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Springdale Police Department. The FBI also assisted on this case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Harris.

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