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Some Arizona Worksite Raid Employees Avoid Charges

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Not All Arrested Workers Facing Criminal Charges

Some Arizona Worksite Raid Employees Avoid Charges

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Attorney has not filed criminal charges at this time against five of the workers arrested by Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies in a worksite raid last week.

Last week's worksite identity theft enforcement operation at two locations of the local chain restaurant, Uncle Sam's, was the first of its kind in four months. It was also the first since a federal judge ruled the Sheriff's office discriminated against Latinos. 

Nine employees were arrested on felony identity theft and forgery charges for working under an assumped identity with fake documents. A tenth was arrested on an outstanding warrant.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the nine workers arrested on identity theft and forgery charges were given ICE holds in jail, meaning they are believed to be in the country illegally.

The worksite raids have been criticized by the U.S. Department of Justice, which has a pending lawsuit against the Sheriff's office. Local immigrant rights activists have been protesting these types of arrests and prosecutions for months.

Montgomery said in a statement that "our initial review of the evidence does not support filing charges against all of those arrested at this time."

He said the decision "should not be understood as any change in how the MCAO prosecutes cases of employment-related fraud."

Jude Joffe-Block was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2010 to 2017.