Friday, June 25, 2010

Lakewood Police Round Up Illegal Roofing Workers (Lakewood, Ohio - June 23, 2010)

LAKEWOOD, Ohio -- Lakewood police took into custody a crew of roofing workers who were illegally in the country.

The incident June 10 might be evidence that storm chasers who swooped into the area after recent hail storms are indeed using undocumented workers as they pick up insurance-funded roofing work. Many roofers have alleged as much.

Officer Joseph Eikens stopped a Dodge Ram truck with Texas plates because its driver and passenger windows were so darkly tinted the officer could not see inside. A companion truck pulled over behind it.

According to the police report, several occupants in both vehicles said that they were in the country illegally and that they were in Lakewood working for Aspen Construction. They gave Aspen's Westlake sales office as their address.

Aspen is headquartered in Missouri but has sales offices across Ohio, according to Vice President Pat Nussbeck.

Nussbeck said that Aspen subcontracted its roofing work to a Louisiana company. Nussbeck said his company requires subcontractors to vouch that their workers are covered by liability insurance and workers' comp and are eligible to work in the United States. Nussbeck said Aspen would press the subcontractor to comply with its contract.

Police handed six people over to U.S. Customs/Border Patrol after the traffic stop.