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Judge order monitoring for witnesses in kosher slaughterhouse plant

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge has ordered electronic monitoring for 18 material witnesses in the case against two human resources employees at a kosher slaughterhouse raided by federal immigration agents.

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The orders requiring the GPS monitoring were entered Wednesday in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Sixteen of the witnesses are listed in a case against 38-year-old Laura Althouse of Postville, with the two others in the case of 29-year-old Karina Freund of Fayette.

Prosecutors say the women helped illegal workers at obtain and submit false documents to work at Agriprocessors Inc. in Postville.

Althouse and Freund were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in September. Both worked in the company's human resources department. It wasn't immediately clear on Thursday if they continue to work for the company.

Althouse was charged with aiding and abetting document fraud, aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to harbor undocumented immigrants. Freund was charged with aiding and abetting undocumented immigrants.

Federal immigration agents raided the Agriprocessors plant on May 12, arresting 389 people in what officials said was one of the largest single-site immigration busts in U.S. history.

Bob Teig, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said Thursday that the material witnesses served prison sentences following the raid and have applications for work authorization pending. He said if they were not acting as material witnesses they would face deportation.

Teig couldn't immediately say how much it would cost for the electronic monitoring.

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