03 Oct 2017
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
WENCAI Guo, one of the five individuals indicted for employing tourists for construction work, self-surrendered in federal court at 10 a.m. on Monday.
Gu, a staffer of Beilida Overseas (CNMI) Ltd. , on Friday pled guilty to count 2 of the indictment charging him with harboring illegal aliens.
District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered Guo to self-surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service on Monday prior to his sentencing.
Guo was earlier released on his own recognizance after posting bail.
In the change of plea hearing on Friday, Guo described in his own words the offense he had committed.
He will be sentenced on Feb. 16, 2018 at 9 a.m. The defendant, who is represented by attorney Robert T. Torres, will get credit for time served.
According to the plea agreement, Guo, on or about Feb. 7 to March 22, 2017, supervised over 100 workers at the Saipan casino construction site in Garapan.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James Benedetto said at least 24 aliens under Guo’s supervision overstayed their parole status. The aliens who were admitted in the CNMI as tourists were not authorized to work here.
Benedetto said Guo advised the workers to refrain from coming to the worksite during the presence of government inspectors such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration agents.
As part of the plea agreement, the U.S. government agreed to dismiss count one of the indictment, and to recommend a sentence at the low end of the applicable guidelines range.
The U.S. government recommended a 27- to 33-month prison term for Guo.
His co-defendants are Beilida Overseas owner Hui Li, and staffers Hongwei Ma and Xiufang Qi.
A separate indictment charged Yuqing Zhao, MCC International project manager, with harboring aliens.
MCC International was the prime contractor while Beilida was one of the subcontractors of the Saipan casino project.
Zhao last week pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful employment of aliens and was sentenced to six months in prison.
Of the five defendants, Lu has yet to be arrested.
The jury trial for the two remaining defendants is scheduled for Oct. 31, 2017.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/99008-beilida-staffer-pleads-guilty-to-harboring-illegal-aliens