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Nursery/Landscape Company Raid Nets Numerous Arrests
Over 100 Suspected Undocumented Workers Detained


Employees of an Ohio landscape business were targeted for potential identity theft and tax evasion. No criminal charges have yet been filed against their employer.

The Associated Press is reporting that 114 workers were taken into custody today when about 200 U.S. Immigration agents descended on two Ohio locations of Corso's Flower & Garden Center. The news service called it "one of the largest employer stings in recent years."

According to WOIO-TV in Cleveland, the action began around 7 a.m. at the businesses located in Sandusky and Castalia, whose operations include a 160,000-square-foot greenhouse, a 200,000-square-foot wholesale perennial plant division and a separate landscape business, Corso's Landscape, that provides design/build services, lawn maintenance, hardscape installation and snow removal.

Michael Harrington of the Sandusky Register witnessed boxes being carried out at one of the locations, and reported that phone calls to the newspaper accused the agents of being armed with sub-machine guns though an official with Homeland Security disputed that.

The AP account states that the investigation into potential immigration illegal activity by workers at the business began about eight months ago after the U.S. Border Patrol arrested a person suspected of supplying stolen identity documents to undocumented job applicants. A search of personnel records at Corso's uncovered enough suspicious documentation, such as Social Security numbers belonging to dead people, to warrant the raid.

The Homeland Security official implied that the workers were the ones targeted and not necessarily the employer. WOIO reported that no charges have been filed against Corso's at this time.

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August 17, 2019, 10:48 am PDT

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