Thursday, August 10, 2006

ICE Hits Whitewater's Star Packaging 3 UPDATES

Last night's Channel 4 News mentioned that Immigration Control hit a place called Star Packaging in Whitewater, dragging out over two dozen illegals and a Company officer.

UPDATE: The JSOnline has some info:

[Pedro's] (not his real name) wife was one of 25 people taken into custody after a task force executed a search warrant at Star Packaging. The task force included members from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Milwaukee, the Social Security Administration, the Walworth County Sheriff's Department and the Whitewater Police Department.

Allen L. Petrie, owner of Star Packaging, was taken into police custody for allegedly conspiring to commit misappropriation of identification and for being party to a crime of misappropriation of identification.

This curious clause about the raid is WAY down in the article:

which Whitewater police insisted was directed not at the workers but at Petrie

From non-business dealings I am acquainted with the Al Petrie.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Apparently ICE folks haven't had their Sensitivity Vitamin Boosters, either:

There were other terms for which immigration officials and the audience - more than 40 Hispanic men, women and children - had different definitions.

During the meeting, Sandra Jiménez asked the immigration officer, who insisted on calling the detainees "illegal aliens" because "that is the legal term," to consider using a less offensive term, such as undocumented workers.

"The word alien makes me think of strange little creatures," Sandra Jiménez, a legal immigrant from Mexico, said. "I am not a Martian."

Right, Sandra. You're a twit, not a Martian.


Allen Petrie, who owns and operates Star Packaging at 960 E. Milwaukee St., and the employees were arrested about 10 a.m. at the business.

Whitewater police will ask the Walworth County district attorney to charge Petrie with party to conspiracy to commit misappropriation of identification, said Lt. Lisa Otterbacher, who is acting chief.

Petrie, 47, is accused of employing people without proper documentation, including Social Security numbers, that would allow them to live and work in the United States, Otterbacher said.

Otterbacher said Petrie's arrest came after "a number of meetings between the company owner and the investigators."She said Petrie was told many times that he couldn't employ illegal immigrants, but he didn't change his way of operating.

Evidently Mr. Petrie is not real good at taking a hint, eh?


"In this country, an employer has the obligation under federal law to ask for identification, and that's it," attorney Frank Lettenberger said. "That's what this employer has been doing."

"There is an allegation that Mr. Petrie may be employing workers who are illegal aliens who are using false Social Security numbers to gain employment," Krueger said.

The Whitewater Police Department has contacted Petrie several times during an investigation that started in February, Lt. Lisa Otterbacher said.

Lettenberger found it peculiar that Whitewater Investigator Larry Meyer led the investigation into Star Packaging.

Meyer currently has an open civil suit in federal court filed by another Whitewater businessman, Steve D. Cvicker, owner of Whitewater Rock and Mulch.

The attorney's defense seems to rest on a combination of "My client is stupid AND the investigator is really nasty."

Otterbacher said Meyer and the Whitewater Police Department are not racial profiling, but are investigating cases of identity theft.

"Identity theft is one of the biggest rising crimes in the U.S.," Otterbacher said. "It's not germane to only immigrants."Assistant District Attorney Diane Donohoo believes Petrie knowingly hired people using fake IDs.

I've been involved in hiring decisions. This is not too hard to figure out. I think Krueger and Donohoo are going to have a lot of fun in what could be a landmark case for Wisconsin, if not for the US.


jp said...

Outing more Company officers is an important step towards improving immigration control.

Dad29 said...

It's likely THE most important step.

Billiam said...

Good post. All this pc crap is going to get people killed.

Jib said...

Good coverage of this story.

Anonymous said...

You people are all a joke! Please tell me how you think you can tell if a person is using someone else's identity. You should get a job for the goverment if you are all powerful. I think you should research all your facts before posting.