Nine arrested in Columbia County raid remain in jail

Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 8:34 PM
Last updated 8:49 PM
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Eight men and one woman were still waiting at the Columbia County jail Saturday night to be handed over to federal authorities.

The nine arrests were made during a raid at 2021 Grace Ave. in Evans Friday evening by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and representatives of the FBI, IRS and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The owner of the $1.7 million, 11,500-square-foot home, Hugo Diaz, and his wife, Blanca Miranda De Diaz, were among those arrested. According to the Better Business Bureau, Diaz owns De La Fuente construction in Grovetown.

The seven other men arrested are Arturo Domiinquez-Suaste, Reyes Fredrico Lopez-Garcia, Jesus Vazquez-Trejo, Carlos Suarez Ortega, Rigoberto Loza-Marquez, Estaban Jarquin-Esteba, and Heris Francisco Medina-Ramires. Addresses were not listed, nor were charges.

According to Columbia County Lt. Ben Groves, they are being held for the U.S. Marshall.

Sheriff Clay Whittle said Friday there were raids at three houses in Columbia County and one in Richmond County, but all the addresses haven’t been released.

Information regarding the raid is under a sealed federal indictment and could possibly be available within a few days, Whittle said. The arrests were handled through ICE, he said.

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Cynical old woman
1102
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Cynical old woman 11/05/11 - 09:47 pm
0
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Lots of agencies involved,

Lots of agencies involved, human trafficking charges,.....only 9 being held??

linux
96
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linux 11/06/11 - 12:58 am
0
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"If Hugo Diaz would have been

"If Hugo Diaz would have been John Smith then no problem...I wonder why other non-hispanic contractors who subcontract and hire undocumented workers are not being investigated for illegal activities???"

How do you know they're not?

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 11/06/11 - 04:30 am
0
0
Like beauty, injustice is in

Like beauty, injustice is in the eye of the beholder. Ilegal activty is criminal activity. Hugo may get a chance to post bail, and will get his day in court unless the justice department fails to do it's job. The latter would be an injustice.

db16
95
Points
db16 11/06/11 - 08:27 am
0
0
Evidently, Mr. Diaz stepped

Evidently, Mr. Diaz stepped on the toes of some of his competitors? This bust is going to put the Drug Dealers and Users in a Serious Recession now! Excellent work by all of the Law Enforcement Agencies! Clean up the Streets, One Distribution Center At A Time! BTW @ Lyreco...I don't think this has anything to do with 'illegal' workers...this has to do with Massive Drug Trafficking...and I hope they hammer every single person associated with this deal! And then I hope they dig deeper and send a message to the Illegals...We don't mind them here in America...but do it Legally and Contribute to the System you are Dragging Down! Fair=Fair!

turn signals optional
0
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turn signals optional 11/06/11 - 09:34 am
0
0
If Hugo was an honest hard

If Hugo was an honest hard working American and was committing illegal acts he would have not been arrested. However it appears he is not.
I also see a lot of hardworking Americans and legal workers in the new subdivisions. The difference being we (the legals and the Americans) pay takes. Therefore no one is arresting or investigating us.

turn signals optional
0
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turn signals optional 11/06/11 - 09:36 am
0
0
Have been arrested

Have been arrested

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 11/06/11 - 10:08 am
0
0
These poor down-troddened

These poor down-troddened undocumented working drug dealers have a god-given right to ply their trade. This is pure racism and hatred! STOP this racism today-amnesty for all!

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/06/11 - 10:30 am
0
0
Victor Davis Hanson’s book

Victor Davis Hanson’s book “Mexifornia: A State of Becoming” covers the phenomenon of “industry colonization”; take a home construction crew of 7 English speaking Americans, one leaves and a Hispanic guys offers to fill the position at half the wage. Now there are 6 English speaking Americans and one very hard working cheap bilingual guy. Another position opens and the bilingual guy introduces the foreman to his hardworking cousin (also bilingual) and he gets hired; now there are 5 English speaking Americans and 2 bilingual guys. Another position opens and is filled by cousin number 2; he is cheap and hardworking but doesn’t speak English, no problem; the other two will translate work instructions for him. This goes on and on until the entire crew is Hispanic with two translators; if a new position opens, labor cost and the efficiency of translating orders into action creates an ipso facto preference for Hispanic labor.

Borg Assimilation Complete

warlock
0
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warlock 11/06/11 - 11:16 am
0
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This guy put numerous legal

This guy put numerous legal American contractors out of business. He worked for as little as half the price others charged, sometimes less, and made up the loss by using illegal workers and paying them slave wages while he lives in a 1.7 mill house. He also paid a few local builders to pull county permits for him so he could build houses with dirt cheap labor and make a bundle. He owned a bar suspected as a drug den as well as several homes used to house the illegals he trafficed over the border.

This guy was well on his way to being a real life "Tony Montana"

Good job ICE, FBI and CC police. Get these guys the hell out of the country. The economy is bad enough without guy's like this driving the American trades down!!

david jennings
590
Points
david jennings 11/06/11 - 01:09 pm
0
0
Seems to me if this were

Seems to me if this were about drugs, DEA would have been involved. Sounds more like human trafficing or immigration offenses. Maybe Diaz had his own labor union type thing going. I have been in construction trades all my life, brick, concrete etc. There are a lot of hard working people in construction but I have never seen any more efficent, harder working more plentiful labor force than those from south of the border.Not supporting any criminal activity now, just saying contractors like them because they are dependable and are not affraid to work 6 or7 days long hours. And also, from my experience, they do not necessarily work that cheap, they have learned the going price for the work they do and are not affraid to ask for it. One of a contractors biggest headache is getting subs that will do good work,start when they say and stick with it until it is fiinished. I'm no longer in the business and am glad.

Dixieman
14943
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Dixieman 11/06/11 - 01:36 pm
0
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Adios, amigos!

Adios, amigos!

janyrivas
0
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janyrivas 11/06/11 - 01:48 pm
0
0
It is funny how envious some

It is funny how envious some people are of others who are more successful. And if that person happens to be Hispanic? Uffff!!! Some how, some of you guys have declared him a drug dealer. Wow. I am amazed at the discrimination going on here in the south. I am a successful/educated latin woman who came from the north where not once I felt discriminated. Here in the south? Another story. And, if you happen to be Hugo Diaz, who has taken all the business from the locals non-Hispanic (to not specify) and has built his dream home and has a life better than most in the area.... then, yes- there will be people who hate you and who will want to bring you down. And there will also be ignorants, like some of you who are saying he is a drug dealer. You can pretend not to be racist when you are out there, but it shows. Just read your comments :-)

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 11/06/11 - 01:53 pm
0
0
What a crock of baloney! A

What a crock of baloney! A crook is a crook is a crook. You should be ashamed to stand up for someone who has taken advantage of poor LATIN people to enrich himself, among other things. That is a solid indictment of his character without any other charges.

ar02500
0
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ar02500 11/06/11 - 01:58 pm
0
0
I personally know the Diaz

I personally know the Diaz family, and my brother worked for the De La Fuenta construction for several months. I'm glad he has been busted, but the charges have nothing to do with having illegal workers or drugs. All of his help are documented workers and he doesn't pay them under the table- he takes out taxes. The charges are likely human trafficking, money laundering, and tax evasion. The family has accumulated a vast wealth both in the U.S. and Mexico which is worth many times the value of their extravagant home. My uncle lives in the Estates at Jones creek in the adjacent home across the pond and has noticed on many occasions there being school buses, charter buses, and vans continuously going to and fro. The raids that occurred outside of his home were likely homes that he used to harbor illegal immigrants.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 11/06/11 - 03:12 pm
0
0
david jennings posted "Not

david jennings posted "Not supporting any criminal activity now, just saying contractors like them because they are dependable and are not affraid to work 6 or7 days long hours. And also, from my experience, they do not necessarily work that cheap, they have learned the going price for the work they do and are not affraid to ask for it. One of a contractors biggest headache is getting subs that will do good work,start when they say and stick with it until it is fiinished."
-------------------------------

You nailed it. There is a work ethic problem in America.

Cynical old woman
1102
Points
Cynical old woman 11/06/11 - 03:48 pm
0
0
I wonder IF Mr. Diaz is legal

I wonder IF Mr. Diaz is legal or not...hard to believe he could run as successful of a building business as he does (did), have trucks all around town with the De La Fuentes name and phone number plastered all over them, own/run a bar, build/own/live in a HUGE house, run crews in both Columbia AND Richmond counties, have neighbors notice lots of "comings and goings" (as per above poster), and NOW years later be busted. As I said before if it's truly all the media has hyped it to be with several MAJOR investigative agencies involved...isn't it a bit ironic that only 9 folks are jailed??

jdub
0
Points
jdub 11/06/11 - 04:11 pm
0
0
This is a great thing and I

This is a great thing and I am not a racist! Many say who cares because they work hard and do the jobs that none of us want to do, but that is just not true. There are so many local subs, framers, roofers, etc. that have been either struggling or lost their jobs because they could not compete with the prices the illegal crews were charging. This is rediculous. Some builders have been forced to use these cheap crews just to keep up with the decreasing cost of homes. Labor is cheap homes are cheap we are buying them and the quality is crap. Meanwhile the builders that have remained loyal to their subs have struggled to sell their homes because they just can not do it for the price of the house next door that was built by mostly illegal workers. Lets stop this now. Give our legal honest hardworking neighbors their livelyhood back and lets support the honest builders out there that are trying to make a living building us good quality homes.

david jennings
590
Points
david jennings 11/06/11 - 04:10 pm
0
0
Thanks willow, I say: when

Thanks willow, I say: when the ones sitting on the porch outnumber the ones in the field does it really take a rocket scientist to figure out the problem? I mean can I pour four cups of water in my coffee maker and make 12 cups of coffee come out?

jdub
0
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jdub 11/06/11 - 04:27 pm
0
0
There is no problem with

There is no problem with someone wanting to work from 7 to 7 and sundays too, the problem is when they are paid under the table, un taxed and causing the guys next door to loose their jobs because they are doing the job for half the price. You get what you pay for and as labor cost goes down so does quality. Apparently some in this area are willing to cut a few corners on the quality to get the job done cheaper and quicker. Good thing we dont have tornados around here.

Bing0
14
Points
Bing0 11/06/11 - 05:58 pm
0
0
It really blows my mind that

It really blows my mind that seemingly every comment on here is addressing these "evil illegals" as stealing money out of every hard working American pocket. I am not saying that I approve of illegal aliens at all. What I am saying is that to blame them for stealing jobs is utterly ridiculous.
The place to lay the blame is our government. It can really be summed up in one word; Globalization. Our jobs have been systematically exported straight out of the country. When I think about it I wonder to myself what do we really produce anymore? It truly scares me when I think about how even low level jobs such as working in a call center are not being filled in this country.
Illegal aliens are not to blame for unemployment in this country. The legislative branch of our government is. They have sold us out to the corporate agenda of globalization. You know the rhetoric: The world is getting smaller, we live in a global community etc...
Is it really that difficult to see?
I suppose it did sort of sneak up on us couched in laws that seem good. They say this legislation will create jobs but here we are living in the results. I saw a great documentary on HBO that was a great history of the garment industry. It was called "SCHMATTA: RAGS TO RICHES TO RAGS".
It started slowly in the 60's and then over night an entire industry was all but completely destroyed. There may be some agrument that this is not the best example of Globalization and its impact on the average American, but it is certainly an accurate parallel of what happens when our jobs are exported to other countries.
My whole point and hope is that we all would back up a little bit from our anger toward "illegals." After all, we all come from immigrants unless we are Native American. And then, boy oh boy! do we have a reason to p' o'd.
Sincerely,
Pedro Jesus Arturo Gonzalez
...Just kidding.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 11/06/11 - 06:07 pm
0
0
BingO, comentarios muy cool

BingO, comentarios muy cool .. ha sido un lento fundido a mis amigos

or.... cool comment, it has been a slow fade, my friends

And I don't know about "ya'll", but I am really tired of talking to PEGGY!!

flip_it
0
Points
flip_it 11/06/11 - 11:21 pm
0
0
Definition of money

Definition of money laundering- the process of disguising illegal sources of money so that it looks like it came from legal sources.

Mr. Diaz is a perfect example! Yes, I know him. Yes, he is a criminal. They should not have taken 5 years to take him down. I'm amazed.

He is not a licensed residential contractor, yet he builds houses for other contractors who just mark up his price and his underpaid workers do all the work. There will definitely be a lot of residential contractors scrambling to honor contracts with homeowners for the prices they were getting from Hugo. Ooops....I'm sorry homeowner, the price I gave you earlier was when I had a man building your house who wasn't really making his money from building houses and just using it as a cover up. Can we renegotiate?

augusta citizen
9330
Points
augusta citizen 11/07/11 - 09:19 am
0
0
ar02500, Austin said exactly

ar02500, Austin said exactly what you just did on his morning commentary about what the charges will likely be.

jmckee226
0
Points
jmckee226 11/07/11 - 10:15 am
0
0
so if they are illegal then

so if they are illegal then they are drug dealers? the more i read comments on here the more i realize augusta is full morons. its like this. who are you people to judge anybody. yalll sound like uninformed americans who only know just enough info to get you in trouble. what happens in the "streets" and what the media says happens are two different things. hell the ones making uneducated comments are probably the same ones that voted for obama. we wont hold your foolish comments against because you cant hold a fool responsible for what they say.

newman100271
0
Points
newman100271 11/09/11 - 07:20 pm
0
0
All the contractors that have

All the contractors that have been using Hugo know he is using illegal aliens. The joke openly about how they are putting all the contracts and subcontractors that are running legal businesses out of business. They should all be in jail and lose everything they have. Everything they have has been stolen from people trying to run legal business. I've noticed nobody taking up for these thieves are losing everything they have worked there hole live for to these thieves..

newman100271
0
Points
newman100271 11/09/11 - 07:51 pm
0
0
The homeowner that have ended

The homeowner that have ended up with poorly built homes built buy illegal aliens need to file lawsuits against the builders. I've never seen any work they have done That is any good. Saw a 500,000 home the built only 5yrs ago and the siding is already falling off.. you don't save any money when you have to pay twice to get a job done.

Good look trying to sell these trash houses 10yrs from now when they are falling down around you. Lol

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