Update: Couple Arrested In Illegal Immigrant Sting 10-06-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Update: Couple Arrested In Illegal Immigrant Sting 10-06-2010

This is an update to an earlier story on WNEM.com:
The Huron County farming couple busted for allegedly harboring illegal immigrants is out of jail.
Anthonia and Johannes VerHaar were arraigned Wednesday and then posted $350,00 bond.
TV5's Liz Gelardi called the Verhaar's on Thursday, but they wouldn't talk about the arrest.


HURON COUNTY, Mich.-- A Huron County couple has been arrested on charges of harboring illegal immigrants at their dairy farm in Colfax Township.
According to Michigan State Police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Johannes Martinus VerHaar and his wife, Anthonia Marjanne VerHaar, Wednesday morning at 3201 W. Soper Road, just a few miles west of Bad Axe.
The two are being charged with encouraging and inducing illegal aliens to reside in the United States, harboring illegal aliens and aiding and abetting such acts.
Thirty agents dressed in tactical gear surrounded the farmhouse and arrested the farmer and his wife.
"It was kind of like shock and awe," said Michigan State Police Detective Mark Krebs. "They weren't advised beforehand that we were coming and they were located and handcuffed."
Michigan State Police helped the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Response Team with the arrests.
The farm has been under investigation for more than three years. The couple's lawyer, Matt Allen, declined to comment except to say the allegations will be addressed.
"The only people that were taken from the scene were Johanas VaHaar and Antonia VarHaar," said Krebs. "Other employees were questioned by the ICE agents, but no one was taken away from the farm but those two."
TV5's Liz Gelardi reported this was not the first incident at the farm. Federal agents said they have deported illegal immigrants found working there in the past.
RECENT VIDEO: TV5 rode along with officials in Huron County a few weeks ago to see what they're doing about the illegal immigrant problem there. TV5's Liz Gelardi filed this report: Illegal Immigrant Arraigned After High Speed Chase
The VerHaars were transported to Bay City where they were arraigned in U.S. District Court, police said.
They were each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. If convicted, they may face up to five years in prison.
VOTE: Do you think illegal immigrant labor hurts or helps the state economy?
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the number of illegals removed from the country fell well short of this year's goal of 400,000.
Officials said of the thousands of illegal immigrants deported last year, about 35 percent have criminal records.
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