Three Chinese Nationals Arrested in Alleged Alien Harboring and Unlawful Employment Conspiracy

October 26, 2012

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas on October 25, 2012 released the following:

“HOUSTON – Song Yu, 32, Hue Chen, 36, and Cheng Jie Chen, 40, all from the Katy area, have been taken into custody following the return of an indictment alleging a conspiracy to harbor and induce illegal aliens to reside in the U.S and unlawful employment, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. All are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson tomorrow morning.

During the course of the conspiracy, the indictment indicates Cheng Jie Chen, Hui Chen and Yu hired unauthorized aliens from Guatemala to work at the Bamboo Village aka New Bamboo Village restaurant, some of whom were allegedly directed to obtain fraudulent work authorization documents. These people never presented identification documents and never completed I-9 forms, as required by law, according to the indictment. The indictment further alleges illegal aliens and other workers were provided housing and were transported to and from the restaurant.

Bamboo Village restaurant is a Chinese restaurant located on the 5100 block of Avenue H in Rosenberg. Cheng Jie Chen was its original director and president. On April 5, 2010, the restaurant changed the corporation name to New Bamboo Village Inc., at which time Yu, the nephew of Cheng Jie Chen, was named as the director and president.

Federal law requires employers to hire only United States citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in the United States. Further, employers must verify employment eligibility using the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9). The employer is required to examine, at the time of hire, the documentation provided by the individual that establishes his identity and employment eligibility to ensure the documents presented appear to be genuine and relate to the individual. The employer must retain the I-9 forms for three years after the date of the hire or one year after the date the individual’s employment is terminated, whichever is later.

On March 24, 2009, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents encountered and arrested unauthorized aliens at a residence on the 4900 block of Timber Lane in Rosenberg. These individuals, who did not have the proper I-9 documentation, allegedly worked at Bamboo Village and resided at the Timber Lane location. According to the indictment, they would be transported daily to the restaurant for work.

HSI issued a warning notice to the restaurant on or about July 1, 2010, advising then owner Chen Jie Chen of the penalties associated with knowingly hiring and employing unauthorized aliens and the lack of the I-9 forms.

On Aug. 22, 2012, HSI personnel again encountered more unauthorized aliens who were arrested at the same Timber Lane residence. At the time, all were allegedly being housed by the defendants at this location while working at New Bamboo Village.

If convicted of the conspiracy charge, all face up to 10 years in prison as well as a maximum $250,000 fine. Unlawful employment of illegal aliens carries an additional six-month prison term and a $3,000 fine.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Elmilady is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Feds to seek new indictment vs. Greig

September 29, 2011

Turnto10.com on September 28, 2011 released the following:

“By: DENISE LAVOIE | AP Legal Affairs Writer

BOSTON — Federal prosecutors plan to seek a new indictment against the longtime girlfriend of former Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, according to a written status report filed in court Wednesday.

Catherine Greig, 60, already has been indicted for allegedly helping Bulger elude authorities after he fled Boston in late 1994, just before he was indicted on racketeering charges. The couple was apprehended in Santa Monica, Calif., in June after spending more than 16 years on the run.

Greig’s lawyers and prosecutors are expected to present the status report to a judge in court Thursday.

The filing by prosecutors, which was reviewed by The Associated Press, says the government “anticipates seeking a superseding indictment in the future.” No other details were provided.

Greig has pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to harbor and conceal a fugitive. The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Her lawyer, Kevin Reddington, did not immediately return a message left on his cellphone seeking comment Wednesday.

Bulger, the former leader of the notorious Winter Hill Gang, is charged for his alleged role in 19 murders. Prosecutors say Greig actively helped Bulger, now 82, escape capture.

Her lawyer has said she was in love with Bulger and didn’t know the extent of his alleged crimes when she left Boston with him in 1995.

In their court filing Wednesday, prosecutors say it is premature to know whether there could be a plea deal in the case against Greig.

“It is too early to determine whether plea negotiations will resolve this case,” First Assistant Jack Pirozzolo and Assistant U.S. Attorney James Herbert wrote.

Reddington has said Greig will not cooperate with authorities in their case against Bulger.

“She’s going to trial on the case – that’s it,” Reddington said last month, after Greig pleaded not guilty to the charge.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Three Convicted on All Counts of Harboring Aliens and Importing Minor Girls for Prostitution

June 17, 2011

U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on June 16, 2011 released the following press release:

“McALLEN, Texas – A McAllen federal jury has convicted Juan Antonio Garcia-Garay, 31, Juan Ignacio Chavarria-Ontiveros, 26, and Antonio Martinez Jr., 38, on all counts charged against them arising from a conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens imported for purposes of prostitution, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. The Jury returned its verdicts late Wednesday afternoon after two hours of deliberation and three days of trial.

Garcia-Garay, of Rio Grande City, Texas, was found guilty of importing aliens for prostitution, conspiracy to harbor and harboring aliens, while Chavarria-Ontiveros, of Mexico, and Martinez, of Rio Grande City, were both convicted of conspiracy to harbor and harboring illegal aliens.

During trial, the jury heard testimony of a Rio Grande City officer that on March 16, 2011, during a traffic stop the officer encountered the driver, Garcia-Garay, and Chavirra-Ontiveros and a 13-year-old juvenile female as passengers. The officer learned that the juvenile was in the country illegally and contacted Border Patrol (BP). While asking routine questions of the unaccompanied minor, BP agents learned about the child being used for prostitution purposes. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) agents were contacted and their investigation identified the 13-year-old and two other females, ages 15 and 18, who were undocumented aliens who had been harbored at two apartments and a house in Rio Grande City. These juveniles testified that they had been prostitutes in Mexico and Garcia-Garay had asked them to come and work in the United States. They testified he coordinated their travel and that while they were at the apartments and house, they had sex with the defendants and other men. The girls were promised money upon their return to Mexico. Chavarria, who was armed, acted as a guard at the apartments always looking out the window and Martinez rented the apartments and lived in the home where the juveniles were harbored.

A fourth defendant, Jorge Eutacio Martinez-Mendoza, 46, previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to harbor charges and is awaiting sentencing.

All defendants have been in custody since their arrest where they will remain pending sentencing.

The case was investigated by ICE-HSI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kimberly Leo and Kristen Rees.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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