Jackson, Miss. (STL.News) – Hector Valdez-Loera, 42, of Madison, was sentenced on Friday by Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to 12 months and one day in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for harboring an illegal alien for commercial advantage and private financial gain, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Jere T. Miles, Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans, and William Joyce, Acting Field Office Director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). Valdez-Loera was also ordered to pay an administrative fine in the amount of $79,784.00.
On April 13, 2017, while searching for an illegal alien fugitive who had a prior order of removal for illegal reentry into the United States, ICE ERO officers went to a home located in Ridgeland, Mississippi where the illegal alien fugitive had been living. Upon arrival, officers found two additional illegal aliens living at the residence. Officers later determined the illegal alien fugitive had left for work at a jobsite located in Madison, Mississippi. At the jobsite, Madison Concrete was performing concrete work. Upon arrival, a number of the workers fled into the woods. Officers gave chase but was unable to apprehend the illegal alien fugitive.
Further investigation revealed that Madison Concrete was owned and operated by Hector Valdez-Loera and that Valdez-Loera hired illegal aliens who either had social security numbers that did not exist or belonged to someone deceased. He failed to check E-Verify to determine legitimacy of his workers and referred to them as subcontractors, when they were in fact his employees. The investigation also revealed that Valdez-Loera provided his financial information to obtain housing for at least two of his illegal alien employees.
Valdez-Loera was subsequently charged with two counts of harboring an illegal alien for commercial advantage and private financial gain. He pled guilty before Judge Jordan on May 24, 2019.
The case is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Keesha Middleton.