Coopersville business raided, 18 illegal immigrants arrested

Posted at 2:26 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 14:26:55-05

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. -- It appeared to be business as usual at DeMeester Wood Products in Coopersville today. However, the facility may be short on help.

Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security said it raided the business and arrested 18 people. These individuals, 13 Guatemalan nationals and 5 Mexican nationals are suspected illegal immigrants.

U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement said the raid is part of an ongoing criminal investigation. According to authorities, six of the men are repeat offenders and will face federal felony charges for re-entering the country unlawfully.

When FOX 17 confronted the business about the raid and their workers' immigration status, the business declined to comment.

"We were told not to talk about it. I'm the owner's son, and we were told not to say anything," a worker stated.

Their attorney advised them not to talk. However without elaborating, authorities suggest DeMeester isn't necessarily off the hook.

DeMeester Wood Products has been in business since 1949, according to the business's sign. Authorities said the arrest went smoothly, everyone is being held in ICE custody and will be deported after the legal process.