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Tyson Pleads Not Guilty in Immigration Case

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Tyson Foods Inc. on Thursday pleaded not guilty to all charges that it conspired to violate U.S. immigration law by smuggling illegal immigrants into the country to work in its plants, Reuters reports.

Tyson entered its not guilty plea during a hearing in Tennessee's U.S. District Court, Eastern District.

According to Tyson, the charges were the result of a federal sting operation in which government undercover agents provided 50 undocumented workers to fewer than five Tyson plants. It added that the government's indictment names only 15 workers hired at a single plant.

"It's important to note that the individuals employed as a result of the undercover operation were treated exactly the same as all Tyson team members," Ken Kimbro, Tyson's senior vice president of human resources, said in a statement.

"The individuals were paid above the minimum wage and provided with full benefits, including health insurance. In addition, each of the plants covered is protected by a collective bargaining agreement."
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