U.S. Attorney's Office Charges Texas-Based Firm and Field Operations Supervisor with Harboring and Transporting Illegal Aliens; $10 Million Fine and 100-Year Prison Term at Stake
On May 29, 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced the unsealing of a 20-count indictment against GPX/GPX, USA, a Texas-based seismic surveying company, and its field operations supervisor, Douglas C. Wiggill. The indictment charges the company and Wiggill with conspiracy to harbor and transport illegal aliens, as well as the commission of these offenses, for failing to complete Forms I-9 and verify the immigration status of 19 illegal aliens hired to work on a seismic surveying project in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.
According to the indictment, GPX executed a contractor compliance agreement certifying that its workers were legally authorized to work in the United States despite failing to verify the employment eligibility of the illegal aliens cited in this case, which was jointly investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Williamsport Bureau of Police in Pennsylvania.
Although the 19 employees referenced in the indictment were arrested in June 2011, Wiggill was taken into custody on the day of the indictment’s unsealing. If convicted of all 20 counts, he faces a maximum aggregate sentence of 100 years in prison, a supervised release term of 60 years, a $5 million fine, and a special assessment of $2,000. In addition, GPX stands to receive a total maximum fine of $10 million, a five-year probation term on each count, and a special assessment totaling $8,000.