Tommy Frank Keaton, 70, and Graziano Cornolo, 55, were accused of labor trafficking, conspiring to harbor aliens for commercial advantage or private financial gain, and transporting, harboring and encouraging aliens not lawfully in the country to stay. Keaton and Cornolo together own Canadian West, Inc., and RAM Metal Products, which do business as Century Roofing. Another Century employee, Alberto Diaz-Hernandez, 33, was charged with a single count of transporting and harboring. All three entered not guilty pleas at a hearing in Kansas City last month.
According to prosecutors, Century Roofing used mainly workers who are in the country illegally on commercial and residential roofing jobs in the Kansas City area. Roofing crew leaders were paid in cash and threatened with dismissal if they didn't pay kickbacks to company owners. The owners also threatened to notify immigration officials if employees didn't pay kickbacks, missed deadlines or worked for someone else. Each trafficking and conspiracy count carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to 20 years in prison.
Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said the indictments "paint a picture of undocumented workers being manipulated by employers who played on their vulnerabilities."