Woman pleads guilty in connection to 2019 ICE raids in Mississippi

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Monday, a woman pled guilty in connection to the 2019 raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Mississippi.

Iris Villalon, 45, was one of four higher-ups who were indicted in Summer 2020 in connection to the raids. She pled guilty to harboring and aiding undocumented immigrants.

According to prosecutors, Villalon was in charge of Southern Knights Industrial Services and was contracted by A&B Incorporated, which is a meatpacking company, to hire and manage its payroll for its Pelahatchie food plant.

Court documents stated Southern Knights and Villalon received 15 percent of each employees’ salary after they were brought on.

Villalon was also charged with making false statements to investigators and falsifying quarterly wages.

As part of the plea deal, Villalon cannot appeal her sentencing. She is scheduled to be sentenced on August 19, 2021, and faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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