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Accused Immigrant Smuggler in Tyson Case Pleads Guilty

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - A former Tyson Foods employee on Monday pleaded guilty to charges that he smuggled illegal immigrants into the country to work for the company and gave them fraudulent identification, The Associated Press reports.

Amador Anchondo-Rascon, a 43-year-old U.S. resident originally from Mexico, could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and forfeiture of any gains from the alleged conspiracy, according to the AP.

Anchondo-Rascon told U.S. District Judge R. Allen Edgar he brought workers to the Tyson poultry processing plant in Shelbyville, Tenn., and provided them with fraudulent IDs, including Social Security cards.

The judge told Anchondo-Rascon that his sentence, which could include deportation, would depend partly on how much he helps prosecutors. The judge set a May 20 sentencing hearing.

U.S. Attorney John MacCoon did not say if Anchondo-Rascon plans to testify against six Tyson executives indicted last month on charges of conspiring to smuggle immigrants to work at the company's poultry processing plants.

Anchondo-Rascon's attorney, Michael Friedman, said his client has been cooperating with prosecutors for months and predicted he would testify at any Tyson trial.

"I think it is going to help bring Tyson to the table," Friedman said.

A Tyson lawyer declined to comment to the AP.
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