Ex-Howard HR manager faces sentencing

Sentencing has been postponed for a man who hired hundreds of illegal immigrants for one of Mississippi’s most successful private companies, the site of the nation’s biggest workplace raid.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained about 600 illegal immigrants at Howard Industries’ electrical transformer plant in Laurel in Aug. 2008.

Former human resources manager Jose Humberto Gonzalez pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy. His sentencing had been scheduled today in Hattiesburg. But the federal court clerk’s office says it has been postponed, without a new date.

Several illegal workers were convicted of identity theft. Hundreds were deported. Gonzalez — the only company official charged — admitted hiring workers regardless of their lawful status.

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