Locals are glad for the arrest of 14 illegals

By: Amber Southard Email
By: Amber Southard Email

Panama City - Tuesday's arrest of 14 illegal immigrants, who were working construction jobs at a controversial low income housing project have some people upset.

It seems a number of locals applied for those jobs, but were turned down. A traffic stop Tuesday afternoon led to the arrest of the 14 illegal aliens.

A Bay County Sheriff's deputy noticed a truck leaving this construction site, driving erratically. The traffic stop revealed the man was driving on a suspended license.

Authorities say he admitted he was in the U.S. illegally and had two lease agreements for a couple of apartments nearby.

When the Bay County ICE team showed up at the town homes, they say five of the illegal’s tried to escape through the window.

"During this time the others were being interviewed and they all admitted freely and voluntarily that they were illegal aliens also during the investigation we were able to determine that five of them used stolen social security numbers and they were charged with criminal use of personal identification," said Sheriff Frank McKeithen.

Authorities say they arrested 14 of the 16 people living in the units. Six are facing criminal charges, but the fact these illegal immigrants were working on the Panama Commons project has some people upset.

Jerry Warren use to serve our country as a marine. He said when he came home from war and tried to find a job it was hard because most of the jobs he went to had hired illegals instead.

"My main concern is the fact you have a lot of illegals out here and us Americans don't have a job and you ride by job sites and you see a lot of illegals out here it just isn’t right," said Warren.

McKeithen says some locals had contacted the sheriff’s office about the job site because they were being turned away.

Harden Contracting supposed has a strong policy for checking out all employees, but Harden says a sub-contractor called "Spurs" out of Atlanta Georgia hired the illegals.

"Someone needs to take responsibility here that’s in charge of these major jobs like this I just think that there are some steps that need to be taken here to make sure that we hire locals," said McKeithen.

The illegal have been turned over the ICE officials for deportation. Our attempts to reach Harden Contacting were not successful.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jim Wayne Location: Ga on Jun 8, 2011 at 08:14 AM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuVQ57O_naU This is the link.
  • by JIm Wayne Location: Ga on Jun 8, 2011 at 06:22 AM
    You can look at a video of the framing Contractor on utube on this job site treatin a local like dirt. Look up ,Charles Siler.
  • by david Location: lynn haven on Nov 28, 2010 at 05:24 PM
    Put a bounty on all illegal workers.Offer all the unemployeed American construction workers a job rounding up all of the illegals at,say twenty five dollars a head.Watch how quickly the illegals disappear and the unemployment drops!
  • by beach guy on Nov 27, 2010 at 03:49 PM
    Im glad they are arresting the illegals, but it seems pointless to me. Im in the hotel/condo business and all the hotels and condos use the services of legal foreign workers, which is a disgrace. The whole beach has turned into a bunch of foreign workers because hotel/codo management companies want to save a dollar and not have to pay any benefits to American workers.
  • by Jim Location: Santa Rosa Beach on Nov 26, 2010 at 05:29 PM
    As an American and a construction worker I'm elated your sheriff arrested illegals. Unfortunately Walton County just turns the other cheek. If you really want to get rid of the illegals all you have to do is go to the local Tom Thumb store in the morning or lunchtime. I could round up a few dozen a day at just about every convenience store. I'm a republican and don't blame Obama, this happened long before he arrived. The reality is, unless we elect people that are willing to fight for our borders, security and livelyhood and uphold the laws of our land it's just as much our fault.
  • by Tom S Location: PCB on Nov 26, 2010 at 09:51 AM
    You can find some more illegals at unit 706 of the Nautilus Cove Condos in PCB, if you miss them there you can find them working at the Days Inn in PCB. This is now in its 2nd year and should be taken care of by ICE or the SO
  • by joe Location: tn on Nov 26, 2010 at 09:07 AM
    Dear Confused, Good Grief!! When have Americans ever turned to Mexico to solve our employment problems? Or any "problems"? Last big mistake Americans made was when we let minorities and kids elect our current president!! 2008 remember? But don't worry, we will never turn to our childrens adolesent, incorrect opinions again. And remember, you get what you pay for with cheap unskilled labor. We have not seen the long term effects of mexican toil from structural integrity to health concerns- yet. How about exercising birth control in Mexico and better education instead of selling drugs, swimming rivers and jumping fences? Beef up the vision insurance plan at law enforcement offices on the local level. We are the people living at the local level with Mexicans, not politicians. Stop waiting for government to solve our problems. Stop acting like a third world country is the answer to our inaction. Stop hiring them! Trust me, they may work for little money, but they won't do it for free.
  • by confused Location: panama city on Nov 26, 2010 at 06:35 AM
    WHY DO WE ASSUME THAT ITS ALWAYS THE ILLEGALS FAULT FOR GETTING THE JOBS? NOT TO START ANYTHING BUT THE REASONS THAT ILLEGALS GET ALL THE JOBS IS BECAUSE THEY WOULD WORK FOR ANYTHING WITH ANY PAY AND THEY DONT COMPLAIN. THEY COME FROM A AREA WHERE WORKING FOR SO MUCH TO GET SO LITTLE DOES NOT BOTHER THEM HERE. SO WHEN THEY WORK HERE THEY WORK HARD AND GET A LITTLE MORE PAY. EVERYONE BLAMES THEM BUT REALLY AMERICA SHOULD BLAME THEMSELVES. WE ARE SO PICKY, WE ALWAYS COMPLAIN, AND WE ARE LAZY.WHY WOULD THEY HIRE US RATHER THEM?THEY CAN MAKE SURE THE JOB GETS DONE WITH NO COMPLAINTS AND WELL WE ARE TOO LAZY AND ACT TOO GOOD TO GET THE JOB DONE FOR THE PAY.SO BEFORE SAYING THAT THEY TAKE ALL THE JOBS THAT WE WONT, THINK FIRST OF WHETHER OR NOT AMERICANS REALLY TRY TO DO THEIR JOBS AND WORK HARD AT IT FOR WHATEVER PAY IS OFFERED TO THEM!
  • by Laura Location: Panama City on Nov 25, 2010 at 05:15 PM
    If calls were made about this constuction site prior to this bust, why wasn't it checked out before a traffic stop? Sounds like it only took place because of the traffic stop and all the phone calls went unheeded. They need to do unannounced spot checks of all the construction sites and some of the businesses. Our people need the jobs. Think America First.
  • by joe Location: tn on Nov 25, 2010 at 04:30 PM
    Sure they admit that they are all illegal aliens, and why not? It's all a big joke. We continue not doing anything about it. Local police have been driving by this vehicle and work site for months....all these "illegal" people drive like their on a goat path anyway. Yeah, good "job" sheriff. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. 16 down 12 million to go. good job. Way to spot 'em.
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