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Five accused of illegal entry to U.S. Worked as subcontractors cleaning Cheesecake Factory

Two Mexicans and three Guatemalans who were subcontracted to do cleaning work at Cheektowaga's newly opened Cheesecake Factory restaurant face deportation on charges of entering the United States illegally, federal and Erie County sheriff's officials said Thursday.

The five men were arrested Wednesday after Sheriff's Deputy Frank Palermo went to a house on Zent Court in Cheektowaga to serve an eviction notice. There, he found the men sleeping on mattresses on the floor, according to sheriff's officials. Palermo immediately contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Authorities said the men admitted to illegally crossing the U.S. border from Mexico in the San Diego area and two points in Arizona.

Two of the men -- Simon Pablo-Caba, 32, and Marcos Perez-Caba, 24, both of Guatemala -- are accused of possessing forged Social Security and permanent resident cards.

The other three were identified as Adan Cruz-Bautista, 41, and Alsonso Catalino Lopez-Ventura, age unknown, both of Mexico, and Felipe Reymundo-Cruz, 21, of Guatemala.

Authorities said all five worked for Excell Cleaning and Building Services, a Crossview, Texas, company that does janitorial work under contract across the United States.

ICE Agent Jose Garcia said that the men had been working in Ohio before being sent to Cheektowaga to work at the new Cheesecake Factory in Walden Galleria. He added that the men did not appear to have a local supervisor.

Pablo-Caba and Perez-Caba were arraigned Thursday afternoon in federal court. The other three were arraigned earlier and their bonds were set at $5,000 each. The three were given a chance to make bail because they were considered less of a threat; they did not possess any counterfeit documents.

The men were transported to the immigration detention facility in Batavia to await removal hearings.

Garcia said that immigration officials have begun a preliminary investigation into Excell but have no plans to probe the Cheesecake Factory.

"At this point, there's nothing to indicate that the Cheesecake Factory had any knowledge [that the men were illegal immigrants]," he said.


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