Two acquitted of charge they brought in undocumented workers
By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer
A federal court jury deliberated only 3 1/2 hours Wednesday before acquitting two men who work for a Waipahu agribusiness of multiple felony criminal charges related to the importation of undocumented farm laborers to Hawaiçi.
Defense lawyers described the two defendants, David Kato and Glen McCaig, as “ecstatic.”
“These are good, decent people who were doing the best they could do to legally hire farm workers,” said Jim Darnell, a lawyer from El Paso, Texas, who represented Kato.
McCaig’s lawyer, Victor Bakke, said the case was “financially and emotionally draining” for McCaig and Kato.
The prosecution was based in large part on illegal immigrant laborers who testified for the government, Bakke said.
“The government’s case was weak,” Bakke said.
The witnesses were allowed to stay in the country for 17 months pending trial and were given federal work permits, which allowed them to legally hold jobs here, Bakke pointed out.
“One of them even started a family and has a kid here,” Bakke said.
“And it was all for nothing. The federal government allowed illegal workers to take jobs from Americans so they could testify in this case,” Bakke said.
Both defense lawyers said some of the witnesses lied.