LOCAL : INS Raids Ice Cream Warehouse in Pacoima, Arrests 44 People

From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports

In a raid dubbed "Operation Icicle," immigration authorities raided an ice cream vending business warehouse in Pacoima this morning and arrested 42 illegal aliens believed to have been smuggled here from Mexico to sell ice cream from carts throughout Los Angeles, authorities said.

A manager and a foreman at the Delicias de Michoacan warehouse were also arrested in the 6 a.m. raid at 13303 Van Nuys Blvd., said Robert Moschorak, district director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service office in Los Angeles.

Moschorak said investigators were tipped to the operation six weeks ago and obtained a warrant to search the premises. He said about a dozen INS agents found the workers sleeping in "somewhat squalid" conditions.

"They were sleeping in cars, on freezers, in boxes," he said.

An investigation is continuing but Moschorak said it appears the illegal aliens were smuggled into the United States and then allowed to work as vendors to pay off the smugglers.

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