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Kosher Slaughterhouse
Sholom Rubashkin, shown walking to the U. S. Courthouse in downtown Sioux Falls, S.D., Oct. 13. (AP Photo/Lara Neel, Argus Leader)

POSTVILLE - A federal judge dismissed the remaining immigration-related charges against Sholom Rubashkin Thursday, sparing him from another trial next month.

U.S. District Chief Judge Linda Reade granted a motion filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, which argued in documents filed Thursday the additional trial is not necessary.

Rubashkin, 50, of Postville, was convicted Nov. 12 on 86 financial charges - including bank, mail and wire fraud and money laundering - after a nearly month-long trial in Sioux Falls, S.D. He is facing up to 1,255 years in prison. He was scheduled to stand trial Dec. 2 in Sioux Falls for the 72 immigration charges.

Both the financial and immigration allegations stem from a raid May 12, 2008, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at Agriprocessors in Postville. Rubashkin was the manager. Authorities arrested 389 people at the kosher meatpacking plant.

Peter Deegan, an assistant U.S. attorney, said some of the charges were based on the premise Rubashkin knowingly made false statements to banks about harboring illegal immigrants at Agriprocessors.

"The public interest has been substantially served because of the convictions and jury findings noted above," he said.

Jurors also found Rubashkin guilty of making false statements to the bank that he was unaware that the workers at the plant were undocumented prior to the immigration raid, the motion said.

Since Rubashkin was convicted on the more serious fraud charges, the immigration trial would only serve to extend the process, prosecutors said.

Convictions on the 72 immigration charges would be "entirely eclipsed" by the recommended sentencing guidelines for the fraud convictions, Deegan said in the motion.

"Dismissal will avoid an extended and expensive trial, conserve limited judicial and prosecutorial resources and lessen the inconvenience to witnesses," Deegan wrote.

Read more of this story in Friday's Courier

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