Immigration

Peppersauce Cafe Owner Accidentally Snitches on Illegal Staff as Deputy Listens; Two Workers Busted

Deputies with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office busted two undocumented workers today after a cafe owner let the employees' secret slip.

The owner of Peppersauce Cafe, Denise Kimball, "blurted out" to a table full of lawmen -- including a deputy -- that "her cooks and dishwashers working in the back were all illegal aliens," a sheriff's office news release says.

The revelation prompted an employer sanctions investigation that resulted in the arrests of two people this morning at the cafe at 3937 East Anne Street in Phoenix.

It appears that Kimball may be on the hook for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. The Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate the company's employee records.

The workers, Erika Lopez, 25, and Jose Plascencia, 32, may face charges of identity theft.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.