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Worksite Enforcement

Restaurant owner indicted for harboring illegal aliens

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A local restaurant owner was indicted here Wednesday on charges he harbored illegal aliens at his restaurant, and housed them at a residence he owned. This indictment resulted from a criminal worksite enforcement investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A Western District of Kentucky federal grand jury returned an indictment against Fei Guo Tang, 45, of 2603 Sunnydale Place, Lagrange, Ky., on charges of harboring illegal aliens for commercial advantage and financial gain.

The indictment alleges that on Nov. 14, Tang, harbored illegal workers at the Jumbo Buffet restaurant, located at 1218 Market St., and at a residence he owned at 1615 Crystal Drive, both in Lagrange, Ky. The indictment names in separate counts seven of the illegal aliens employed by Tang at the restaurant, and alleges that his purpose in harboring them was for commercial advantage and private financial gain. The illegal alien workers were taken into custody by ICE agents when they executed federal search warrants at the restaurant and the residence Nov. 14. During the on-site interviews, the workers gave statements about the circumstances surrounding their unlawful entry into the U.S. and their subsequent employment by Tang at the Jumbo Buffet restaurant.

The indictment also seeks forfeiture of all property constituting or derived from or traceable to any proceeds of the crime, as well as all property used, directly or indirectly, to commit or to facilitate the commission of the crime.

If convicted, the maximum potential penalties against Tang are: 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and supervised release for a period of not more than three years. Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Fentress, Western District of Kentucky, is prosecuting this case.

ICE agents initiated the investigation in December 2006 after receiving credible information that illegal aliens were knowingly being employed at the Jumbo Buffet restaurant.

"ICE aggressively targets employers who egregiously violate immigration laws by knowingly employing an illegal alien workforce," said Jerry Phillips, resident agent-in-charge of the ICE office of investigations in Louisville. "This indictment demonstrates firsthand how ICE agents use our investigative tools to pursue those who take advantage of illegal labor for personal profit."

Tang is an illegal alien from China himself, who already has an outstanding order of deportation against him issued by a federal immigration judge. Tang will be turned over to ICE for deportation from the United States after all criminal proceedings against him are completed.