7 men arrested on illegal immigration charges

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William Rolando Cuellar Cuellar

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Leonel Adalberto Vasquez-Asencio

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Jesus Efren Munoz-Tavarez

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Benjamin Chavarria-Carrera

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Atruro Bedoy-Veliz

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Arjelio Cuellar-Cuellar

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Albino Rios-Perez

— During the past two weeks, the Moffat County Sheriff's Office arrested seven men working for a subcontractor at the Tri-State Generation & Transmission power plant for suspected crimes related to illegal immigration.

The men were arrested on suspicion of one count of possession of a forged instrument, a Class 5 felony, and one count of criminal impersonation, a Class 6 felony. The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office plans to file charges against each of the men in the case.

Two suspects - Jesus Efren Munoz-Tavarez, 20, and Albino Rios-Perez, 28, each originally from Mexico - were arrested April 20.

Sheriff's Office deputies arrested the other five Monday. They are:

• Atruro Bedoy-Veliz, 25, originally from Guatemala.

• Benjamin Chavarria-Carrera, 35, originally from Guatemala.

• Arjelio Cuellar-Cuellar, 35, originally from Guatemala.

• William Rolando Cuellar Cuellar, 24, originally from Guatemala.

• Leonel Adalberto Vasquez-Asencio, 32, whose home address is listed in Ohio.

All names, ages and places of birth were reported by the Sheriff's Office.

All seven men are being held at Moffat County Jail. Sheriff Tim Jantz said they will face their local charges before being transferred into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

None of those arrested was Tri-State employees, Jantz added. Each of them worked for a subcontractor hired to complete an ongoing $39 million environmental renovation at the power plant.

Jantz said some of the men worked for Broomfield-based Casey Industrial. That company also hired most of the 19 workers taken to The Memorial Hospital on April 18 after suffering from nausea, coughing attacks and burning eyes.

A representative from Casey Industrial could not be reached by press time Wednesday.

Jim Van Someren, Tri-State communications manager, said Tri-State had no comment about the matter because the company is not involved in who its subcontractors hire.

Jantz said he was "extremely impressed" by the work of deputies Larry Dalton and Skip Duncan - as well as the Wackenhut Security personnel hired by Tri-State - in discovering the alleged forgeries.

Wackenhut Security guards, who are stationed at the plant's entrance and check photo identification for everyone who enters the site, phoned the Sheriff's Office after several workers provided suspicious IDs, Jantz said.

The documents included a permanent resident ID card, social security cards and worker IDs from other states.

Once there, Jantz said it took "extensive digging" for his deputies to decide the documents' validity.

"I'm very impressed with what they did," the sheriff said. "A lot of those IDs look really good. They are professionally done, and it took the wherewithal of the deputies to dig a little deeper."

Comments

GreyStone 5 years, 7 months ago

The undocumented workers are not the only criminals in this incident, legally and morally Subcontractors break the law while taking advantage of the undocumented workers. Tri-State uses the subcontractors to absolve themselves of any moral or legal responsibility from accidents, immigration or minimum wage laws. The big shots are the real lawbreakers.

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lonelyone 5 years, 7 months ago

How can you blame Tri-State for this? They have no control over who their contractors or sub-contactors hire. Nor do they control what those contractors pay. However, their security people are the ones who issue the IDs and they did a good job of checking these guys out.

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Nosey_Artist 5 years, 7 months ago

So, where IS "Leonel", photo two, originally from?

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GreyStone 5 years, 7 months ago

No, I have no grudge against Tri-State. They are just doing what others are doing, so if every one else is doing it must be OK. Take advantage of the less fortunate.

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GreyStone 5 years, 7 months ago

I am not blaming Tri State, they are in business to make money at all cost and that includes absolving the company of any liability from undocumented workers by using subcontractors. Most big companies do it, Wall-Mart uses subcontractors, Caterpillar uses subcontractors to get out from under Union contracts and high wages. That is just how big business works.

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Wapitipoker 5 years, 7 months ago

GreyStone, you seem to be misunderstanding the facts. Tri-State uses subcontractors because it has a massive amount of work to do in a short period of time. There are hundreds of contracted personnel on the job and that's not something that Tri-State could do with it's employee base. Otherwise Tri-State would need to permanently hire 500 more employees to sit around for 10 months out of the year waiting for an outage to perform the work. And you must also consider that some of the contracted work is so specialized that it would make no sense to permanently hire that particular trade. It is simple business economics and has nothing to do with "making money at all cost" (Tri-State is a not making profit for shareholders, it's a REC).

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freeman 5 years, 7 months ago

just comes to show you that ,,,ANYBODY,,,,can get through the main gate,,,pretty assuring hu ????

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freeman 5 years, 7 months ago

maybe immagration should go to ,,,CINCO DE MAYO,,,probably would shut down this holiday party real quickly,,,,and,,,,,would also pute the plant short of workers,,,woooow,,,imagine that

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lonelyone 5 years, 7 months ago

freeman, no not just anyone can get through the main gate. They have to have permission to be on the plant site and security checks out several things before letting them on. And those guys did their job, that is why these guys got arrested. Sure it may have taken a few days to come up with the info they needed to have in order to call the Sheriff, but they still did their job.

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GreyStone 5 years, 7 months ago

If some of the contracted work is so specialized, then how do a bunch of undocumented field workers from Mexico qualify to do it ? Might the first consideration be lower wages with no benefits.

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Ray Cartwright 5 years, 7 months ago

Someone is still needed to sweep the floors and clean up after all the workers. "HELLO GREYSTONE"

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jeff corriveau 5 years, 7 months ago

Okay: so make believe you're a janitor to get in, and THEN put your "terrorist" uniform back on and blow up the plant! Even after 9-11 and the millions of illegals that have continued to stream across the border, there are folks out there who just won't understand that there are people that want to DESTROY America and will stop at nothing to do it. Maybe you don't see how damaging the power plant could be a national threat but, just for giggles, think about 10 or so nationwide being shut down at the same time. No power and we are dead in the water. I'm with GreyStone on this one and want to congratulate the Sheriff's Office for doing a good job that should have been done by ICE but they are too lame to do so!

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GreyStone 5 years, 7 months ago

They can go down to the local employement office and hire some peolpe for a fair working wage with benefits and not try to take advantage of some ignorent farm worker from Mexico WHO can not speak english..... Floor sweepers do need to pay rent and buy food, send their kids to school and other civilized stuff. That Mexican worker might like to earn a fair wage also.

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GreyStone 5 years, 7 months ago

Tri-State could still find itself liable for a fine if it contracts work to a company knowing that the contractor or subcontractor employs unauthorized workers. The fact that the work is being completed so cheap might be a sign the wages are under the standard going wage and undocumented workers might be involved.

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lonelyone 5 years, 7 months ago

GreyStone, you make some very good points. But it sounds to me like you have something against Tri-State and no matter what, your gonna find fault. Who says those Mexican workers were getting paid below minimum wage?? And I don't think Tri-State is liable for whom their contractors hire. If you hire someone who turns out to be illegal and you can prove that you did everything right as in looking at SS numbers, Drivers License and such, I don't think your going to be charged with hiring an illegal worker. You get in trouble when you turn a blind eye to it all and say, I see nothing, I know nothing and can prove nothing, that's when you get in trouble.

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freeman 5 years, 7 months ago

take advantage of the less fortunate,,,,,,,,what kind of morals did your parents teach you or was you not taught

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buck523 5 years, 7 months ago

Freeman....I'm pretty sure GreyStone was being sarcastic on that comment.

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