Michigan Man Charged With Smuggling, Hiring Illegal Aliens In Casper
A Michigan man faces charges in Wyoming and Michigan for arranging the smuggling and employing of illegal aliens who were working at a construction site in Casper, according to federal court records.
Conrado Badillo is charged with two counts of harboring illegal aliens "for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain," according to the criminal complaint filed by an Homeland Security Investigations agent.
If convicted, each count carries a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.
Badillo, a naturalized U.S. citizen, made his initial appearance in federal court in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Friday. He waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday. He remains in custody pending a detention hearing in May.
The case began on March 20, according to the criminal complaint.
Deportation officers with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were arresting individuals for immigration violations at a construction site where apartments were being built near Wyoming Boulevard and Poplar Street, according to the criminal complaint.
An ICE agent told the Homeland Security Investigations agent that the deportation officers had arrested nine people on immigration charges and two people for re-entry of previously deported aliens, according to the criminal complaint.
The project manager told the ICE agent that that people were employed by a subcontractor named Conrad, later identified as Badillo. The ICE agent told the project manager to call Badillo.
The project manager did, and told Badillo to come to the job site to deal with the problems with his employees.
The ICE agent heard Badillo say, "'I am not coming over there ... they will arrest me.'"'
The project manager identified eight of the 11 arrested workers as employees for Badillo. He also said the employees arrived at the construction site in a van with Michigan plates and a sedan with Sonora, Mexico, plates.
One alien, asked where he and the other employees lived, identified apartments on South Jefferson Street in Casper, and another identified a residence on Morgan Avenue in Mills.
The South Jefferson Street apartments housed nine or 10 of Badillo's employees.
ICE agents and Mills Police officers found nine individuals and Badillo at the Morgan Avenue address.
One individual was a lawful permanent resident. The other seven were illegally in the United States. One of those had filed a petition requesting legal status in the U.S. Three were arrested for re-entry of previously deported aliens, and three with no criminal or immigration history were told report to the Enforcement and Removal Operations office in Casper.
The legal resident told the Homeland Security Investigations agent that Badillo hired him to work for his company, Badillo Builders, based in Grand Ledge, Mich.
One of the aliens told the agent that Badillo knew he and others were illegally in the country.
He also said one of the aliens arrested owed Badillo money because Badillo helped pay to have him smuggled into the United States, adding it cost $7,500 to have him smuggled. Two other employees also were smuggled into the country.
Those employees were working in part to repay Badillo.
Investigators interviewed the owners of the properties rented to Badillo. The owner of the South Jefferson Street property showed the rental agreement that said in part that the apartments would be deemed abandoned if an inspection revealed they was no longer occupied.
On March 28, the owner of that property contacted the agent and said the two apartments were abandoned. Four of the illegals left behind Mexican birth certificates, Mexican passports, wire transfer receipts showing funds sent to people in Mexico, and pay stubs.