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Sentencing postponed for Howard Industries exec

JACKSON — The sentencing hearing for the only company executive convicted following the nation’s largest workplace raid on illegal immigrants was postponed again after federal prosecutors in Mississippi filed sealed motions in the case.

Jose Humberto Gonzalez, the former personnel director of Howard Industries, was the only executive charged in relation to a massive federal raid in August 2008 that ended with the detention of nearly 600 illegal immigrants.

Gonzalez pleaded guilty Dec. 9, 2009, to conspiracy, admitting that he knowingly hired illegal immigrants at Howard Industries’ transformer plant in Laurel. He faces five years in prison. His sentencing was scheduled for Thursday, but U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett postponed it until Jan. 6.

The judge did not offer an explanation for the delay.

Gonzales was to be sentenced Aug. 30, but that, too, was postponed after prosecutors filed sealed motions in the case.


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