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La Divina reopens following ICE raid

Posted at 3:10 PM, Oct 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-21 17:53:44-04

One of the four restaurants shut down following a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reopened Friday morning. La Divina on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore is now serving customers after closing for three days following the Tuesday morning raid.

The other three restaurants remain closed, but owner Sergio Mucino said he will try to reopen them all.  They are Don Tequila on Allen Street in Buffalo, El Agave on Union Road in Cheektowaga and Agave on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.

Sergio Mucino is the owner and operator of the four restaurants.  He and two managers were arrested and charged with harboring undocumented workers.  The three men face a maximum of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to U.S. Attorney William Hochul.

Mucino was arraigned in Federal Court and is free on $85,000 bail. Investigators say he is free to open his shops back up, but must have legal, documented workers. Prosecutors say 90% of his workforce was illegal.

7Eyewitness News was at La Divina as it reopened Friday and spoke with Mucino about his restaurants and employees.  He said he will try to reopen all the restaurants and "we are going to keep working hard."

"All my employees are very hard workers," he said.

Mucino said he's seen an outpouring of support from the community since Tuesday's raid.

"I have been getting a lot of support from other friends that own restaurants, from a lot of customers and I'm getting a lot of emails of support," he said.  "I am so surprised we're getting support from not just Buffalo, but from many places."