Feds: Detroit Box Biz Hired Illegal Immigrants
DETROIT (WWJ) – A packaging and box company in southwest Detroit was the target of a raid Tuesday by Homeland Security and Immigration.
WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with Homeland Security spokesman Khaleed Wahls who said the search warrant was issued by Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of an ongoing police investigation.
Wahls said Grigg Box Company manager Edward Schlacht was arrested Tuesday on criminal charges of knowingly accepting false documentation in the course of hiring undocumented workers.
The arrest is the culmination of an investigation that began in February when an HSI audit of the company’s hiring records identified 35 employees who used suspected counterfeit documents to obtain their jobs, said Wahls in a statement.
If convicted, the 48-year-old Schlacht faces a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a up to a $250,000 fine.
“Employers who evade the law not only fuel the demand that is responsible for much of the country’s illegal immigration, but their actions also hurt lawful workers who are seeking jobs in this challenging economy,” said Brian M. Moskowitz HSI special agent in charge. “Criminal prosecutions are just one of many tools HSI is using to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect job opportunities for the nation’s lawful workforce.”
Witness Edwin Hawkins told WWJ Newsradio 950 he spotted armed officers as he drove by the business on Warwick Street near the 6th Precinct near Plymouth and Evergreen.
“I was on my way to work and I turned on Fitzpatrick and it was blocked off,” said Hawkins. “There was all kinds of police cars … they was out there, had the streets blocked off and they had guns drawn.”
Officials at the Grigg Box Company have declined to comment. According to its website, Grigg Box Co. has been designing and manufacturing boxes and crates since 1932. It says it also provides government, commercial and military packaging services for domestic and export shipments..