Dairy farm owner pleads guilty to using illegal labor

Posted at 3:11 PM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-19 15:12:00-04

The owner of two Michigan dairy farms has pleaded guilty to harboring workers who were in the U.S. illegally.

Denis Burke pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court. Guilty pleas were also entered on behalf of his farms, Dunganstown Dairy and Parisville Dairy, both located in Michigan's Thumb region.

Burke admits he employed more than 100 people who were in the U.S. illegally. He and the farms have agreed to pay roughly $1.4 million to the U.S. government. Burke also could be sent to prison when he's sentenced on Jan. 4.

Burke says he gave free housing to his workers to help them avoid immigration agents. He relied on others to take them shopping or run other errands.

Burke's wife, Madeline, will be sentenced Thursday. They're natives of Ireland.