Mexican Restaurant Owners to Get New Trial Because of Juror’s Ethnic Slur
Two brothers convicted in March of hiring and harboring illegal aliens to work in their Mexican restaurants will get a new trial. A federal judge agreed to grant a new trial for Hector and Guillermo Fuentes because one of the jurors in the case used an ethnic slur to describe them.The brothers were born in Mexico but are legal residents of the United States.They were arrested nearly two years ago after agents say they found illegal immigrants living in the basement of the Fajita Grill in Westbrook.They also own restaurants in Waterville and Biddeford. Prosecutors say the two men helped workers get fake social security cards, too. About a month after they were convicted, the judge says the court learned one of the jurors made an ethnic comment about the brothers to an acquaintance.It came on the second day of testimony. A new trial is scheduled for October.