Careers and Workforce

Raided Plant Moves to Squelch Evidence

By Pan Demetrakakes, Senior Editor

Sep 10, 2019

One of the Mississippi chicken processors whose workers were arrested in an Aug. 7 raid is asking a court to suppress any evidence against the company that the government uncovered during the raid.

Koch Foods was one of three companies whose workers were arrested outside Jackson, Miss. The raid, one of the largest in more than a decade, netted almost 700 chicken plant employees suspected of being in the country without documentation, 243 of them from a Koch plant in Morton.

Koch is trying to preempt the federal government from using evidence uncovered during the raid in any subsequent criminal proceeding against the company. In a filing in federal court Sept. 6, Koch argued that the raid was based on suspicion, not the legal standard of probable cause.

The government has not yet responded in court, but in its affidavit applying for the search warrant, it stated that over 17 years, dozens of Koch employees told immigration officials that they were in the country illegally, that 21 Koch employees were wearing ankle monitors after having been arrested by immigration authorities previously, and that a government tip line provided numerous leads about undocumented workers.