A Benton County dairy farmer pled guilty today to employing illegal aliens. Sixxty-two year old Kenneth Birker of Vinton pled guilty to one count of knowingly employing illegal aliens, and also pled guilty on behalf of his business Birker Incorporated to harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage or financial gain.

Birker admitted to hiring a husband and wife in November of 2001 to work on his farm, and later learned the two had entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico. He hired a family member of the couple in 2004. Birker later found out the three had been rejected by his health care provider as they did not have driver’s licenses.

Birker met with an attorney in late 2004 to try and help the couple become legal citizens. Birker us free on bond while a presentence report is prepared on his case. Birker faces jail time that ranges from 6 months to 5 years and fines ranging from $6,000 to $500,000 once he is sentenced.