Hugo Diaz pleads guilty in federal court

Government drops 14 other charges related to money made using undocumented workers

Hugo Diaz pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to harboring an illegal immigrant in exchange for the U.S. government dropping 14 charges related to money he made using undocumented workers.

Diaz faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, but sentencing was delayed. His wife, Blanca Diaz, is expected to make a similar plea today.

U.S. District Judge Randal Hall accepted the plea after an hourlong hearing explaining the rights Diaz was giving up and listening to testimony from an FBI agent. Diaz admitted in court to hiring an undocumented worker for his construction business and said he reported
the wages he paid the worker to the Internal Revenue Service.

Hall cautioned Diaz that he would likely be deported immediately after his release from prison because he is in the country illegally.

A federal indictment says the couple sheltered undocumented workers no later than January 2008 “for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain.”

Search warrants were served at their $1.7 million Evans home Nov. 4 by federal investigators.

The couple were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and Hugo Diaz received 10 more counts of money laundering.

Seven others were arrested on a charge of entering the country illegally: Arturo Domiinquez-Suaste, Reyes Fredrico Lopez-Garcia, Jesus Vazquez-Trejo, Carlos Suarez Ortega, Rigoberto Loza-Marquez, Estaban Jarquin-Esteba and Heris Francisco Medina-Ramires.

Court records show no resolution in their cases.

Couple face immigration, money laundering charges
Nine arrested in Columbia County raid remain in jail
Several agencies raid Evans home; dozen arrested

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