Four Face Charges of Harboring Illegal Immigrants Following NWA Restaurant Raids

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - Four people arrested in raids on Mexican restaurants and a wholesale company in northwest Arkansas face charges that they harbored illegal immigrants living in the region.

Debbie Groom, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office, said the four appeared yesterday at a U.S. District Court hearing in Fayetteville.  Those facing charges are all described as Mexicans living in Rogers and Lowell.

Prosecutors say the four operated Acambaro Mexican Restaurants and Garcia's Distribution Company in northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri.

Prosecutors say 23 people in all were arrested in the raids Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Agents seized more than $100,000 from 15 bank accounts associated with the businesses.  Separate civil forfeiture complaints in U.S. District Court claim four homes owned by the Reyes family, five Acambaro restaurants and a Garcia's warehouse came from proceeds of hiring illegal immigrants.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)