Mexican restaurants accused of hiring illegal immigrant workers

PEARL RIVER COUNTY — A criminal complaint unsealed in federal court alleges the owner and managers of three Mexican restaurants in Pearl River County conspired to hire illegal immigrant workers and harbor them to avoid detection.

The Sun Herald reports the complaint and the investigating agency have identified them as owner Jose Gutierrez and employees Vicente Jimenez Juan Barajas and Evaristo Jimenez.

Two of the restaurants are in Picayune and the other in Poplarville.

The complaint also alleges Gutierrez hired illegal workers in Biloxi when he owned the Macho Taco restaurant, which was sold in June.

The complaint was filed in court after the arrests last Thursday of 16 alleged illegal workers in a raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

It was not immediately clear whether those arrested have attorneys.

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