(Sleepy Eye, MN) – Federal immigration and customs enforcement agents were at Christensen Farms near Sleepy Eye Wednesday.
Communications Manager Amber Portner says the visit by about 15 ICE agents came as a surprise – and has never happened before. “We are unaware of any wrongdoing on our part and are fully cooperating with the investigation,” said Portner.
In addition to the Christensen Farms location in Sleepy Eye, ICE also served search warrants at its truck wash in Appleton, Minnesota, and at a Nebraska farm.
According to an ICE press release, “authorities suspect illegal aliens were knowingly hired as part of this alleged conspiracy were exploited by the conspirators through force, coercion, or threat of arrest and/or deportation. Specifically, these illegal aliens were allegedly required to cash their paychecks at an illegal remittance business for a fee, have tax money deducted from their pay even though this money was never paid to the government, and were coerced to remain quiet about this criminal activity.”
Christensen Farms is one of the largest family-owned pork producers in the U.S., with about 1,000 workers across five states, including some 100 employees at their Sleepy Eye headquarters.
(Copyright© 2018 Southern Minnesota Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)