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Manager of Mexican restaurant pleads guilty following raid

Jose Sanchez-Ocampo, manager of a popular Mexican restaurant, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully employ 10 illegal aliens over a 12-month period, Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. said Friday.

Sanchez-Ocampo, 37, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr.

25 arrested - including owner - in raids on four Mexican restaurants

The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $250,000 fine.

Sanchez-Ocampo was the manager of Don Tequila Restaurant on Allen Street. He hired at least 10 illegal aliens to work at Don Tequila and other restaurants, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Counihan, who is handling the case, in a statement.

The plea resulted from an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 20.

Immigration authorities raided Don Tequila and three other restaurants -- Agave on Elmwood Avenue, El Agave in Cheektowaga and La Divina Mexican Store in Kenmore -- in October and arrested 25 people, including the owner.

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