A tomato greenhouse and packing plant in O’Neill, Nebraska, was fined Wednesday for its role in a conspiracy to harbor undocumented workers.
The company was sentenced to pay $400,000, due immediately. The company agreed to the fine in February as part of a plea deal.
The fine exceeded the recommended sentencing guidelines range of $70,000 to $140,000. Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Gerrard said that the higher amount was warranted because of the conditions workers experienced at the tomato plant.
The August 2018 raid of the plant and other businesses in the O’Neill area was one of the largest ever by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. More than 130 workers were detained and 17 people arrested in connection with an illegal employment service run by Juan Pablo Sanchez-Delgado, who took a cut of the undocumented workers’ paychecks and failed to pay taxes.