These arrests were announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The indictment indicates Song Yu, 32, Hue Chen, 36, and Cheng Jie Chen, 40, hired illegal aliens from Guatemala to work at the Bamboo Village, aka New Bamboo Village restaurant. In addition, some of these aliens were allegedly directed to obtain fraudulent work authorization documents. They 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.
Federal law requires employers to hire only
On March 24, 2009, HSI special agents encountered and arrested illegal aliens at a residence on the 4900 block of
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 illegal aliens, and the lack of the I-9 forms.
On Aug. 22, 2012, HSI personnel again encountered more illegal aliens who were arrested at the same
The three were expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson Oct. 26. If convicted of the conspiracy charge, they face up to 10 years in prison, as well as a maximum $250,000 fine. Unlawfully employing illegal aliens carries an additional six-month prison term, and a $3,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady, Southern District of Texas, 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.