Waste Management supervisors sentenced for hiring undocumented workers using stolen IDs

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Two low-level Houston bosses at one of the country’s largest trash collection companies were sentenced to federal prison Friday for stealing identities of U.S. citizens and using them to hire more than 100 undocumented garbage collectors.

U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon ordered both Rudy Martinez, 36, and Israel Arquimides Martinez, 44, both Salvadoran nationals living in Houston, to serve more than seven years in federal prison.


Rudy Martinez, who was higher up the chain of command. will serve several more months than his co-defendant. The two men are not related. They both face deportations upon completion of their sentences.

At the hearing, the judge determined both men had played a key role in the identity scheme because they were in supervisory roles.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Harmon mentioned that their crimes involved more than 100 individuals who were unauthorized to work in the U.S. She said Rudy Martinez obstructed justice by testifying falsely under oath and threatening a witness.

The two men –a route manager and a lead driver — were convicted by a federal jury in April 2016 of 18 counts, including knowingly conspiring to employ unauthorized immigrants, encouraging them to reside in the U.S. and aggravated identity theft. Three co-workers, all higher in rank at the company, took plea deals and were called to testify by the prosecution.

The undocumented workers involved in the identity theft scheme worked at an Afton Road hauling site run by a Waste Management subcontractor. They were fired and then rehired in 2012 with other people’s identities. Workers facing deportation also testified about the hiring scheme.


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