14 suspected illegal aliens are arrested Federal agents raid Odenton development

April 04, 1996|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,SUN STAFF

Federal agents converged on a construction site at Piney Orchard in Odenton yesterday and arrested 14 workers suspected of being illegal immigrants, the second such raid in two weeks, authorities said.

The immigrants, all adult men, were being held at the Howard County Detention Center. They may voluntarily return to their home countries, await deportation hearings in jail or post bail, expected to be set at $5,000, to get out of jail and wait for a hearing, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service spokesman Benedict J. Ferro said.

Mr. Ferro said INS agents acting on a tip arrived at the Groves at Piney Orchard housing development on Riverscape Road about 7 a.m. yesterday and found the men -- from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Peru -- hanging drywall and framing.They were earning $12 an hour, officials said.

Twenty-four men were arrested at the same housing development two weeks ago, INS officials said.

The development's contractor, McDevitt, Street and Bobis of Bethesda, which uses subcontractors, was not involved in employing the immigrants, officials said. Agents will continue to review records to find out who employed them, the officials said.

Employers can be fined $2,000 for each illegal immigrant they knowingly hire, Mr. Ferro said. A repeat offender can be fined $5,000 for every illegal worker.

Pub Date: 4/04/96

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