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Tyson acquittal

(Friday, March 28, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Kansas City Star: A federal jury in Chattanooga, Tenn., acquitted Tyson Foods and three managers Wednesday of conspiring to hire undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America to fill jobs at the company's poultry plants.

Jurors deliberated for less than a day before acquitting the defendants of all charges in a case stemming from a four-year investigation in which undercover agents posed as immigrant smugglers.

"The verdict confirms that Tyson Foods made a concerted effort to hire properly and abide by the law," company spokesman Gary Michelson said.

U.S. Attorney Harry Mattice Jr. called the verdict "frustrating" and said: "We are consoled by the fact that we did the right thing by bringing this prosecution."