Michigan Man Pleads Guilty To Smuggling, Hiring Illegal Aliens In Casper
A Michigan man pleaded guilty to arranging the smuggling and employing of illegal aliens who worked at a construction site in Casper, according to Michigan federal court records filed this week.
Conrado Badillo also agreed to have his case transferred from Wyoming to Michigan where he also faced charges.
Badillo initially was charged with two counts of harboring illegal aliens "for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain," according to the criminal complaint filed by an Homeland Security Investigations agent in the U.S. District Court in Wyoming. One of those counts was dismissed.
Conviction of the crime carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
Badillo, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was ordered detained in Michigan. A sentencing date has not been set.
The case began on March 20, according to the criminal complaint filed in the federal court in Wyoming.
Deportation officers with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were arresting individuals for immigration violations at a construction site where apartments were being built near Wyoming Boulevard and Poplar Street, according to the criminal complaint.
An ICE agent told the investigations agent that the deportation officers had arrested nine people on immigration charges and two people for re-entry of previously deported aliens, according to the criminal complaint.
The project manager told the ICE agent that that people were employed by a subcontractor named Conrad, later identified as Badillo. The ICE agent told the project manager to call Badillo.
The project manager did, and told Badillo to come to the job site to deal with the problems with his employees.
The ICE agent heard Badillo say, "'I am not coming over there ... they will arrest me.'"'
The project manager identified eight of the 11 arrested workers as employees for Badillo. He also said the employees arrived at the construction site in a van with Michigan plates and a sedan with Sonora, Mexico, plates.
One alien, asked where he and the other employees lived, identified apartments on South Jefferson Street in Casper, and another identified a residence on Morgan Avenue in Mills.
One of the aliens told the agent that Badillo knew he and others were illegally in the country.
He also said one of the aliens arrested owed Badillo money because Badillo helped pay to have him smuggled into the United States, adding it cost $7,500 to have him smuggled. Two other employees also were smuggled into the country.
Those employees were working in part to repay Badillo.