A former manager at the Agriprocessors slaughter plant in Postville, Iowa, has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for harboring and financially exploiting immigrant workers who were in the United States illegally, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Linda Reade gave Hosam Amara a 41-month prison term, the most recommended under advisory sentencing guidelines. But she said that Amara would get credit for 11 months he has already spent in custody since his arrest in Israel and extradition to the U.S., and she rejected a prosecution request for a longer sentence, reports the Associated Press.
Amara came to the United States from Israel in 1994 and became a U.S. citizen. He ran the poultry side of the Agriprocessors plant, which was the target of a 2008 federal immigration raid that resulted in the arrest of 389 workers. Reade said that Amara facilitated the widespread hiring of “undocumented alien workers,” took cash payments in exchange for hiring 15 such employees, and profited from a scheme in which he and his associates sold used cars to them.
“He made money off of their plight,” she said.
Amara, 49, also helped workers get false identification documents and fled to Israel after learning that he was under federal investigation following the 2008 raid, she said. Israeli authorities arrested Amara in 2011, and he was returned to the United States last year after challenging his extradition.