As many as 15 7-Eleven stores in New York and Virginia were raided by the Department of Homeland Security early Monday morning, according to HuffPost Business.
The New York Times has reported that nine store owners and managers have been arrested on charges of harboring and hiring undocumented immigrants. The store owners are also being accused of wire fraud and using fake Social Security numbers to pay their workers.
Authorities said that the raids were part of an investigation into human smuggling, identify theft and money laundering. The said store owners allegedly helped smuggle workers into the U.S. from Pakistan.
An additonal 40 7-Eleven franchises are also being investigated, with a majority of these simultaneous raids having occurred in Suffolk County, Long Island. Owners of the raided stores will be charged with harboring undocumented immigrants and not paying the minimum wage to their employees.
Approximately 20 people have been arrested as of Monday morning.