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02/11/2009

Chinese food restaurant owners sentenced for harboring illegal aliens

DETROIT - Owners of an Ann Arbor Chinese food restaurant were sentenced here today for harboring illegal aliens after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement-led investigation.

"ICE aggressively targets employers who knowingly and recklessly employ an illegal alien workforce," said Brian Moskowitz, special agent-in-charge for ICE Office of Investigations in Detroit. "We will use all our investigative tools to pursue employers who take advantage of illegal labor to make an unlawful profit and gain unfair advantages over businesses which operate within the law."

Guan Chen was sentenced to 14 months of incarceration (seven months in prison and seven months in a community corrections facility). After which, he will serve an additional 23 months of supervised release. Hoa Le Chen was sentenced to time served followed by two years of supervised release. Both were sentenced for their role in harboring illegal aliens in their home and using them to work at their restaurant.

The case was referred to ICE by the FBI. According to the investigation, after a search warrant of the Chens' home was executed, three Mexican nationals were identified and arrested. The aliens were held as material witnesses prior to their deportation to Mexico.

They were sentenced in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Gerald Rosen. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeanine Jones.