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27 arrested on suspected immigration violations at caramel apple company


St. Louis – Federal immigration officials took 27 people into custody Thursday at a caramel apple company near St. Louis.

They were employees of Happy Apples in Franklin County, and authorities suspect them of being in the United States illegally.

In March, authorities arrested 15 people at Happy Apples, one for drug charges, and the others on immigration violations. All had been living in a home owned by the company.

Company officials say they hire workers for just ten weeks a year. They say it's often difficult to tell real documents from fakes.

The workers are in federal custody and charges are pending. They will have the option to challenge the allegations in court or be deported.