Former Agriprocessors manager arrested in Israel, could be extradited in next month or so

Hosam Amara indicted in the Agriprocessors' case. 
Hosam Amara indicted in the Agriprocessors' case. 

A former Agriprocessors manager was arrested in Israel March 31 following a U.S. request for extradition from Israel issued in 2009 in connection with federal charges pending in U.S. District Court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Wednesday.

Hosam Amara, 46, was first indicted Nov. 20, 2008, for charges stemming from the May 2008 immigration raid at the Postville plant. A July 16, 2009, superseding indictment charged Amara with one count of conspiracy to harbor undocumented workers for profit, 24 counts of harboring and aiding abetting the harboring of undocumented worker for profit, one count of conspiracy to commit document fraud, and one count of aiding and abetting document fraud.

Amara fled the United States after being charged, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Amara and Zeev Levi, another Agriprocessors manager who also fled to Israel after being charged, are the last two cases to be resolved in connection with the immigration raid where 389 illegal workers were charged.

Levi hasn’t been found by authorities, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Cole said Wednesday.

Amara will now face extradition proceedings in Israel. He is in custody pending a hearing scheduled for May 2.

If convicted of all charges, Amara faces up to 260 years in prison, a $6.7 million fine, $2,700 in special assessments, and 81 years of supervised release following any prison term.

According to the indictment, Amara and Levi allegedly had knowledge of illegal workers and their fake documents for employment, and helped them obtained the documents.

A federal jury in November 2009 convicted former vice president Sholom Rubashkin, 50, of 86 counts of bank, mail and wire fraud, money laundering and failure to pay livestock providers in a timely manner.

There have been a total of 11 supervisors, managers and employees charged and nine have been convicted in this case.