U.S. Arrests 14 7-Eleven Owners

    A parking lot full of customers vehicles is seen at a 7-Eleven convenience storer in Dallas, Tuesday, July 26, 2005. 7-Eleven Inc., the world's largest convenience store operator, said Tuesday that its second-quarter profit jumped 22 percent as a result of higher sales and cost controls.
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Tony Gutierrez/AP

    Ending a massive human-smuggling probe Monday, federal authorities seized 14 7-Eleven stores in New York and Virginia and arrested nine shopowners who were hiding illegal immigrants. Officials say the 7-Eleven stores hired at least 50 illegal immigrants, the majority of whom were from Pakistan. Speaking to the press Monday, U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch denounced the store owners for “ruthlessly exploiting” the immigrant employees by forcing them to take false identities (some stolen from children) and then mandating that they live in boardinghouses. “From their 7-Eleven stores the defendants dispensed wire fraud and identity theft, along with Slurpees and hot dogs,” Lynch said. The raid was one of the largest in criminal immigrant employment history.

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