Often there is evidence in these local cases pointing to possible culpability on the part of the employer. But Maricopa County Sheriff's Office investigators have stated under oath that they do not investigate employers, only the workers, who are arrested whenever Sheriff Joe Arpaio does a worksite raid.
Asking that their names not be used, some family members of the accused told me before the hearing Monday that these unsavory hiring practices were well-known throughout the company, and that Hendon and other top DFC brass were in the know.
Earlier I spoke by phone with Adriana Lopez, who identified herself as a former Danny's cashier and an American citizen. She said one of the defendants, Juan Zarate-Carreon, is her fiance.
According to Lopez, Zarate-Carreon worked for Danny's for 15 years and has five children by a previous marriage.
Lopez said he worked as a manager at the Happy Valley location, and that Danny Hendon and other top DFC brass knew that he had been rehired after being fired as a result of the 2010 ICE audit.
She alleged that Hendon was aware the company was hiring undocumented workers.
"Danny is basically trying to blame all of his store managers for the hiring of illegal immigrants," she told me. "When in reality he knew everything that was going on."
I asked if Hendon visited the Danny's locations, such as hers, regularly.
"He was there every single weekend," she explained. "Fridays and Saturdays, he made his rounds. He knew full well what kind of operation he was running."
She said she didn't think it was fair to her, her fiance, or to her fiance's kids that her fiance was arrested, but not Hendon..