Two Niagara County men admitted in federal court that they forced undocumented immigrants to work at their Mexican restaurant, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors said that both Roberto Montes-Villalpando, 60, of Sanborn, and Abraham Montes, 28, of North Tonawanda, have pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to conspiracy to harbor aliens for financial gain and causing serious bodily injury.
Each man faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when they are sentenced on Sept. 14.
Both men owned and operated El Cubilete Mexican Restaurant in Niagara Falls. Between Nov. 1, 2014, and Feb. 18, 2018, Montes-Villalpando and Montes recruited and hired undocumented foreign nationals who had entered the U.S. illegally. Both men enticed prospective laborers who lived and worked in Ohio.
Some of the workers were paid less than the minimum wage. In addition, in February 2018, Montes punched one of the workers in the nose before striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher.