CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A former consultant for one of the most prominent egg producers in northern Iowa pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Friday to charges that he aided and abetted the continued employment of illegal aliens.

Doucas Goranites, 61, now of Ohio, was the general manager of the DeCoster egg production plants between 1998 and 2001.

At Friday’s plea hearing, Goranites admitted that while working as a consultant for DeCoster he knew that when immigration agents were in the area, workers were afraid to travel to and from the egg plants because of their illegal status. He also admitted that he would help by taking them to and from work.

He admitted that he did not fire those employees when he realized they were working illegally.

He will be sentenced in Sioux City on Dec. 19.

At that time, he faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a fine of up to $3,000 per person involved.

In August, Austin Jack DeCoster, 68, of Clarion, owner of the egg plants, pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern and practice of aiding and abetting the continued employment of an alien not authorized to work.

He was released pending sentencing.

DeCoster once owned DeCoster Egg Farms in Turner, Maine.

He faced similar charges in 1989 involving illegal immigrants he had hired in Turner, and paid a fine to settle the charges.

AP-ES-09-26-03 1845EDT

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