What is the Penalty for Hiring Illegal Mexican Workers in Florida?

If you’re running a business in Florida, every cent counts. With rising payroll expenses, you might be tempted to explore alternative options for your workforce. But what happens if you hire illegal Mexican migrants to work at your company? What kind of penalties could you face? As it turns out, the penalties for these crimes can be quite serious. If you’re wondering how to avoid criminal consequences, be sure to stay till the end of the article.

Business Owner in Florida Gets 10 Years for Forced Mexican Labor

On December 29th, it was reported that a farm owner in Florida had been sentenced to just under 10 years for using forced Mexican labor. The Justice Department announced that he had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit forced labor under the RICO Act. A number of his employees also pleaded guilty to a number of offenses.

The individual in question owned a labor contracting company that provided farms with workers. The company brought in droves of Mexican, seasonal workers on H-2A agricultural visas. Many of the visas were valid, granted only due to fraudulent documents submitted by the defendant. The entire operation was criminal. As soon as the workers arrived, they were coerced into working long hours in horrible conditions, according to the Justice Department. The business also engaged regularly in fraud and racketeering.

Workers were paid very little, and many were charged exorbitant sums just for the privilege of working in the United States. Once they arrived, they had their passports confiscated and were housed in unsanitary, degrading living conditions. Sometimes, the workers were kept against their will long after their visas expired. This allowed the defendant and his co-conspirators to threaten the workers with deportation and criminal charges if they decided to stop working.

According to a representative from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division:

“Human trafficking, including forced labor campaigns that exploit vulnerable workers, is unlawful, immoral and inhumane. This defendant abused his power as a business owner to capitalize on the victims’ vulnerabilities and immigration status, luring those seeking a better quality of life with false promises of lawful work paying a fair wage. The defendant forced Mexican agricultural workers to labor under inhumane conditions, confiscated their passports, imposed exorbitant fees and debts, and threatened them with deportation or false arrest.”

These types of stories are quite common. Even if you merely hire illegal Mexican workers while treating them well, you will still face criminal consequences for your actions.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney in Largo?

If you’ve been searching the Florida area for a qualified Largo defense attorney, look no further than Trevena Pontrella & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants with a wide range of criminal charges. We know that facing these charges can be daunting, but it’s important to understand that you’re not alone in this fight. Book your consultation with us today and get started with an effective defense strategy.


  1. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/owner-farm-labor-company-sentenced-118-months-prison-leading-multi-state-conspiracy-involving
  2. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article267900287.html


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