Nine Suspected Illegal Immigrants Arrested
Federal immigration agents raided a Navy contractor Tuesday,
arresting nine men they say were in the country illegally. All nine
were working on P-3 Orions used in anti-submarine operations,
according to WTVD-TV in Durham.
The raid, part of what the Department of Homeland Security calls
"Operation Shield America," centered on Aerospace Manufacturing's
hangar at Smith Field in Winston-Salem, NC. All nine men were
reportedly British citizens who were in the US illegally, according
to the TV station.
Federal agents told
WTVD they were especially concerned because the fact all nine were
in the US illegally shows how easily a foreign-born terrorist might
be able to procure employment where sensitive government work is
In March, federal agents raided Timco Aviation
Services in Greensboro, NC, arresting 28 aviation workers accused
of being in this country without proper documentation. Six of them
were accused of using fake immigration documents to obtain their
A&P tickets from the FAA.
In fact, Aerospace Manufacturing works out of former Piedmont
Airline facilities leased to it by Timco, according to the
Winston-Salem Journal. Aerospace Manufacturing has occupied the
facilities for just two months. There was no immediate indication
of how many workers the company had left in the wake of Tuesday's
Smith Field's interim director, Chris Veal, told the Journal the
workers had submitted their names for background checks and were
performing their jobs under the supervision of others who'd already
"The company vouched
for them," Veal told the paper. "They weren't just allowed to go
down (to the hangar) willy-nilly."
In the aftermath of the ICE operation, Veal told the Journal he
didn't anticipate any security shake-ups at the airport. "The
security process worked, in the grand scheme of things," he