PORTLAND — The co-owner of Mexican restaurants in Waterville, Westbrook and Biddeford has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of hiring illegal immigrants.

Guillermo Fuentes of Westbrook appeared in U.S. District Court in Portland on Wednesday to face charges of conspiracy to harbor undocumented aliens for profit, harboring undocumented aliens for profit, and aiding and abetting document fraud.

The Bangor Daily News reports that his brother, Hector Fuentes, previously pleaded not guilty to the same charges.

The charges stem from immigration raids at their restaurants in September. Agents allege they found at least eight illegal immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala living in the basement of the Fajita Grill in Westbrook. They are also accused of helping workers obtain fake Social Security and permanent resident cards.

Both are free on bail.

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