More meat-processing workers face criminal charges

(AP) About 220 meat-processing workers who were detained in immigration raids last month face criminal charges including identity theft, federal officials said Friday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had initially announced criminal charges for only 65 of the 1,282 Swift & Co. employees rounded up in the raid. All 1,282 face immigration charges, which are administrative rather than criminal.

Neither Swift & Co. nor any current or former manager faces charges, Swift CEO Sam Rovit said Friday.

ICE spokesman Tim Counts said the investigation is continuing.

Swift said Thursday that the Dec. 12 raids at the six plants could cost the company up to $30 million as it tries to replace lost workers and get the plants back up to pre-raid production levels. The plants represent all of its domestic beef processing capacity and three-quarters of its pork processing capacity.

The raids were at Swift plants in Greeley; Grand Island, Neb.; Cactus, Texas; Hyrum, Utah; Marshalltown, Iowa; and Worthington, Minn.

Swift, based in Greeley, has more than $9 billion in annual sales and describes itself as the world's second-largest processor of fresh beef and pork products.

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