NORFOLK, Va. — When crews went onto Norfolk Naval Station in 2010 to put up drywall, there was a problem: According to a federal indictment, some of the workers were illegal immigrants.
Jose L. Varcasia, the owner of a Newport News drywall company, and Eleodoro Moore, a retired member of the U.S. Army, were charged
Wednesday with conspiring to illegally transport undocumented workers onto the base.
Varcasia also was charged with five counts of illegally employing illegal immigrants.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said both men are wanted on warrants.
Terri Davis, a spokeswoman for the naval station, declined to comment Thursday about the indictment, saying she needed more time to research the matter.
According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Varcasia's company, J.V. Drywall, obtained a contract in the spring of 2010 to install drywall in part of the Aircraft Training Facility at Norfolk Naval Station.
On at least four occasions in June and July 2010, Moore picked up workers from a Farm Fresh in Norfolk and drove them onto the base "using his retired United States Army identification card," the indictment said.
Investigators stopped Moore's SUV on July 7, 2010, after he entered the base. Moore told them the men in his vehicle — all of whom were wearing construction gear — were his friends and they were going to the gym, the indictment said.
The passengers were arrested because of their immigration statuses.
The indictment seeks the forfeiture of $821,193 from Varcasia and Moore, as well as Moore's 2002 Nissan Xterra.
This is not the first time illegal immigrants have been discovered on the nation's largest naval installation.
In 2002, five undocumented men were found on the base taking photographs near a pier. At the time, the five could not explain why they were there. Later, investigators determined the men were construction workers.
And in 2004, a Norfolk-based contractor was targeted by federal investigators for sneaking undocumented workers onto the base. No criminal charges were filed.