The owners and most of the workers were taken into custody in a raid by federal agents. Federal documents say more than 30 current or former employees used false papers to work legally. Ten of those workers had their counterfeit photos taken inside one of the El Mirador Restaurants.
KIMA has learned a member of the Brambila family has an extensive criminal background. Documents indicate the person was investigated for money laundering and drug distribution.
In one instance in 2006, one of them was charged in relation to a $2 million cocaine bust in Ohio.
Documents indicate agents discovered the El Mirador ring during a previous bust. A local man was arrested for producing over 60 illegally manufactured cards. On his camera were photos of workers in El Mirador Uniform.
One neighbor who lives near the raids said it comes as a shock.
“You don't see it so close to home all the time,” Rusty Mitchell said.
In addition to the 11 homes raided, court documents indicate 22 separate cars are associated with the undocumented workers.
As the investigation moves on, the popular local business at the center of it comes to a stop.
“They're a good restaurant,” Rusty said. “I mean good food, good people, good restaurant. So, you know, it's kind of odd.”