Former Howard Industries employee sentenced

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - The former human resource manager at Howard Industries has been sentenced to five years probation and fined $4,000 dollars for admitting to hiring illegal immigrants to work at the Laurel company.

Federal Judge Keith Starrett sentenced Jose Humberto Gonzales for his part in the August 2008 raid that netted more than 600 illegal immigrants working at a Howard Industries plant in Laurel.

Gonzales pleaded guilty over a year ago to knowingly hiring illegal aliens to work at the company. Howard Industries pleaded guilty last week to a single count of conspiracy and was fined $2 million.

In addition to the five-year probation and fine, Judge Starrett ordered Gonzales placed on six months house arrest and gave him 15 months credit on his sentence as a result of his guilty plea.

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