Agents arrest Japanese steakhouse owners in illegal immigrant case in Jacksonville

The husband-and-wife restaurant owners whose North Jacksonville home was raided July 6 and five men booked on federal immigration violations were themselves arrested Friday morning on charges of harboring illegal aliens, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Liang Wu Yang and Xiu Rong Liu, who run the Fujiyama Japanese Steakhouse in the River City Marketplace, made their initial appearance in federal court Friday and were released on bond, spokesman William Daniels said. A person answering the phone at restaurant would not comment Friday.

Agents from the Department of Homeland Security raided the home on Tori Lane after federal immigration agents received a June 30 tip that a Guatemalan national had helped smuggle a 17-year-old teen from that country to the property, the 14-page complaint filed Monday showed. The teen wasn’t there when agents got to the home in a subdivision east of Duval Road. But they found four adults from Indonesia who were in the country illegally, as well as a fifth person from Guatemala, living in the home’s converted dining room.

All five said they had jobs at the Fujiyama Japanese Steakhouse. But all had overstayed their non-immigrant visas and were arrested on immigration violations, the complaint said.

The complaint also authorized criminal prosecution of the owners of the steakhouse, stating they knowingly allowed illegal aliens to be “concealed, harbored or shielded from detection.” The couple walked into the home as the investigation occurred. Yang told the agents the men were “in the process of getting immigration status,” the complaint said.

If found guilty, the maximum prison term is 10 years, according to court officials.

Click here to read the Florida Times-Union article.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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