Guilty pleas pile up in case against car-wash firm - FOX 13 News

Guilty pleas pile up in case against car-wash firm

Posted: Updated:
  • ImmigrationMore>>

  • Some Arivaca residents upset over Border Patrol checkpoint

    Some Arivaca residents upset over Border Patrol checkpoint

    A battle is brewing in one Arizona Border Town over what some residents say is taking over their way of life. They're not talking about migrants crossing the border; their fight is with Border Patrol.
    A battle is brewing in one Arizona Border Town over what some residents say is taking over their way of life. They're not talking about migrants crossing the border; their fight is with Border Patrol.
  • DACA two years later seen as opportunity for some, backdoor amnesty for others

    DACA two years later seen as opportunity for some, backdoor amnesty for others

    It's been two years since President Obama started the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. It allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as kids to work and pursue their education without fear of deportation.It's a day of celebration for some, and also evidence of a continuing deadlock when it comes to immigration in America
    It's been two years since President Obama started the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. It allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as kids to work and pursue their education without fear of deportation.It's a day of celebration for some, and also evidence of a continuing deadlock when it comes to immigration in America
  • Court urged to block Arizona's denial of licenses

    Court urged to block Arizona's denial of licenses

    A federal appeals court that previously overturned Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's policy of denying driver's licenses to some young immigrants is being asked to immediately block the policy though Brewer has...
    A federal appeals court that previously overturned Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's policy of denying driver's licenses to some young immigrants is being asked to immediately block the policy though Brewer has requested...

More guilty pleas entered for employees at Danny's Car Wash -- those indicted after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation in August.

The latest plea deal was filed in federal court Monday.  Half of those arrested have already entered pleas and more could be on the way.

A Danny's Car Wash manager pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and many of the plea deals have come in the last few weeks.

The deals mean the defendants will likely cut their time behind bars in exchange for their information.

We spoke with an attorney for one of the men indicted who says this was the fed's plan all along.

14 managers and supervisors at various Danny's Car Washes were indicted for immigration fraud and identity theft by the Department of Justice following a raid at 16 car washes in August.

So far, seven have entered plea deals with the government and two others have indicted they plan to.

"These are very small low level employees who did very little as far as this conspiracy," said attorney Adrian Fontes.

Fontes represents one of the people indicted.  He cannot talk about his client, but says he's not surprised by all the plea deals.

"The government set up this prosecution in a particular way.. where they would go after the folks on the lower level.. first get those individuals to plead or cooperate, then move up the chain so they could slowly, but surely get the bigger fish," he said.

A 78 count indictment alleges Danny's Family Car Wash managers rehired undocumented workers under different names to avoid detection by the feds -- sometimes going as far as falsifying documents and providing counterfeit IDs.

As part of the plea deals, the government is dropping dozens of charges against the defendants.  Many are pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy, which carries a 5-year prison sentence although Fontes says their cooperation could reduce that sentence.

"Certainly less than what they were originally going to be looking at under the bigger conspiracy accusation, yeah."

Jack Edlund, the general manager at Danny's, has pleaded not guilty.  Court records show he had a change of plea scheduled for the end of October that was canceled.  It's important to note the owner of the car washes, Danny Hendon, is not indicted or facing any charges.  

I.C.E. says the investigation continues.

Follow this story:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices