Plants in Mount Pleasant, Texas; Batesville, Arkansas; Live Oak, Florida; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Moorefield, West Virginia were raided, authorities said.
Federal immigration agents raided poultry plants in five states Wednesday in a crackdown on an alleged scam to provide fake identification for illegal immigrant workers, authorities said.
More than 100 people were expected to be arrested on criminal charges related to identity theft and document fraud in the raids at plants run by Pilgrim's Pride, the nation's largest chicken producer, Julie Myers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement assistant secretary, told The Associated Press.
It was unclear how many more would be detained on immigration charges, she said. Agency spokeswoman Kelly Nantel had estimated at least 100 such administrative arrests.
The raids were part of a long-term investigation, officials said. Plants in Mount Pleasant, Texas; Batesville, Arkansas; Live Oak, Florida; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Moorefield, West Virginia were raided, authorities said.
Ray Atkinson, a spokesman for Pittsburg, Texas-based Pilgrim's Pride, said the company went to ICE agents with information about identity theft at the Arkansas plant. Pilgrim's Pride uses an electronic service to verify Social Security government identification numbers are valid, but that system can't detect stolen numbers, Atkinson said.