Attorney: ICE kept arrested farm employee from seeing lawyer

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A lawyer for a farm supervisor arrested in an immigration raid at O'Neill says federal agents and prosecutors wrongly kept the man from seeing his attorney.

Lincoln attorney John Berry tells the Lincoln Journal Star that his firm was hired to represent Elkhorn River Farms supervisor Eric Beringer the day of the August raid. Berry says a lawyer was immediately sent to a Grand Island detention center where those arrested were taken, but that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent wouldn't allow the lawyer to see Beringer. The agent and an assistant federal prosecutor insisted Beringer didn't have a right to counsel until the next day.

Berry says Beringer had a constitutional right to counsel because he had already been indicted on suspicion of harboring people in the country illegally.

Berry is now moving to suppress any statements Beringer made because he was denied his right to a lawyer.

A message left Tuesday for ICE was not immediately returned. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Norris said his office believes there are "many factual inaccuracies" in Berry's motion, but said he could not elaborate until prosecutors files a reply to it.