28 Nov 2018
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
TWO overstaying Chinese tourists who were indicted initially in September were arrested on Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and appeared in federal court on Tuesday afternoon.
Honghui Jie and Haifeng Liu were charged with making a false statement to a government agency, and improper entry into the United States by false statements.
Through their court-appointed lawyers, the defendants waived the reading of their constitutional rights and indictment, and pled not guilty.
At the hearing, Steven Pixley was appointed counsel for Jie with Mike Hua Yang as the interpreter. Benjamin Petersburg was appointed as Liu’s counsel with Monique Kramer as the interpreter.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Garth Backe appeared for the federal government and informed the court that it was seeking detention for both defendants.
Backe asked for a brief continuance of the detention hearing. Chief Judge Ramona Manglona set the hearing for both defendants for Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 at 9 a.m.
After the defendants pled not guilty, Manglona set the jury trial for Jan. 29, 2019 at 10 a.m., and remanded them to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
According to the indictments, on July 11, 2016, Jie and Liu “did knowingly and willfully make a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Specifically, when asked by CBP why they had come to the United States, Jie and Liu had stated for tourism purposes.”
The defendants attempted to enter, and did obtain entry into the U.S. by willful false and misleading representation and willful concealment of fact material to CBP, the indictment stated.
Specifically, when asked by CBP why they had come to Saipan, Jie and Liu “stated for tourism purposes, a representation they knew was false and fraudulent in that they had come to work.”
No other information about the defendants were available as of press time, Tuesday.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/109120-2-tourists-arrested-for-improper-entry-to-us-other-charges