Undercover ICE officers reportedly gave out donuts before raid

Undercover ICE officers reportedly gave out donuts before raid

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who raided an Ohio gardening and landscaping company on Tuesday initially posed undercover in the company break room, offering free donuts to employees before the raid began.

The Washington Post reports that agents initially showed up in the company's break room offering free Dunkin' Donuts to workers at the rural facility before more agents swarmed the business using helicopters and dogs, handcuffing employees and separating legal workers from undocumented immigrants.

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“We’re on a barn, so we can’t escape,” Corso’s Flower and Garden Center employee Salma Sabala told a local NBC affiliate. “They’re armed. They had the dogs. We hear the helicopters on top of us. They took them on a big bus.”

Local media reported that 114 suspected undocumented immigrants were arrested during Tuesday's raid, which followed other recent crackdowns from ICE agents, including raids on dozens of 7-Eleven convenience stores in January.

ICE told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the employees arrested in this week's raid will be charged with identity theft and tax evasion. No charges have been filed against the gardening company, according to the AP, but authorities say it remains under investigation.

An official with the agency told the AP that the raid was the result of months of investigation after the October arrest of a woman charged with giving out fake documents to undocumented immigrants.

“We verified that a lot of U.S. persons were obviously unaware of this. It’s caused them a lot of hardship,” ICE agent Steve Francis said. “It’s not one that we’re looking for strictly as a worksite immigration raid.”

Tuesday's arrests come just a few months after ICE carried out the agency's largest workplace raid in a decade, according to The Washington Post. Almost 100 people were arrested at a meatpacking plant, Southeastern Provision in Grainger County, Tenn., in April.