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Michigan dairy farmer gets prison time for hiring undocumented immigrants

Published: January 6, 2018
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Source: Michigan Live

BAY CITY, MI -- A Michigan dairy farmer is to spend a couple of years in federal prison and owes a six-figure fine for hiring undocumented immigrants.

U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington on Thursday, Jan. 4, sentenced Denis Burke to two years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Ludington did not order Burke taken into custody on Thursday, but gave him time to self-report to the U.S. Marshals Services.

The judge also ordered Burke to pay a fine of $187,500 and an assessment fee of $100.

Burke in September pleaded guilty to knowingly harboring illegal aliens for private gain and/or commercial advantage.

In exchange for his plea, the prosecution dismissed four more counts of the same charge.

Burke's wife and codefendant, Madeline Burke, in June pleaded guilty to one count of hiring without verification of employment eligibility. In September, she received two years' probation and was also ordered to pay the same fine with monthly installments of $15,600.

The Burkes own Parisville Dairy in Huron County and Dunganstown Dairy in Tuscola County. Between February 2008 and May 2013, the couple hired and harbored more than 100 undocumented immigrants to work on their farms, Denis Burke's plea agreement states.

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