Defendant in 2018 Nebraska immigration raids sentenced

O’NEILL, Neb. (AP) — The last of 15 defendants in a case stemming from immigration raids at Nebraska businesses in 2018 has been sentenced, federal prosecutors said.

The office of U.S. Attorney for Nebraska said in a news release that Antonio de Jesus Castro was sentenced Tuesday to four months in federal prison and a year of probation for his role in a scheme orchestrated by Juan Pablo Sanchez-Delgado to harbor and exploit undocumented workers in O’Neill and other places.

Castro is Sanchez-Delgado’s stepson, and prosecutors say he ran the operation while Sanchez-Delgado hid from federal authorities.

Sanchez-Delgado was sentenced last year to 10 years in federal prison after he admitted conspiring with supervisors at several agricultural corporations between 2015 and 2017 to supply the companies with workers not authorized to work or remain in the United States. Sanchez-Delgado and others in the scheme skimmed off part of the workers’ paychecks and also took Social Security and Medicare withholdings from their paychecks instead of paying that money in to state and federal tax authorities, prosecutors said.

Officials have said the scheme was uncovered following the Aug. 8, 2018, raids that led to the detention of 130 workers and company managers.

O’Neill Ventures, a tomato-growing and packing plant in O'Neill, also pleaded guilty to harboring undocumented workers and was ordered to pay a $400,000 fine earlier this year.