A popular area Chinese food restaurant owner pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Monday to employing illegal residents at his restaurant. The restaurant has been closed since May after several arrests were made on the property.
Dianrong Jiang, 40, pleaded guilty to unlawfully employing illegal aliens. He admitted in court that he employed the immigrants at the Great Wall of China restaurant in Desloge.
According to court documents, in 2017 agents with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations received a call letting them know that Great Wall of China in Desloge, located at 1140 N. Desloge Drive, was employing Hispanic illegal alien workers in the kitchen.
On May 2, 2018, Homeland Security agents, ICE/ERO deportation officers and the Desloge Police Department knocked on the door of the house located behind the restaurant. There were five Hispanics and one Chinese woman, all later determined to be illegally in the United States.
Jiang, the restaurant owner and also illegally in the U.S., was found in the kitchen at the restaurant. The court documents indicate he employed illegal aliens to work at his restaurant. The government’s evidence showed that the employees were hired and paid by Jiang … paid various amounts of cash between $600 and $2,700, depending on the frequency of payment.
The report said none of the illegal aliens provided any documentation proving they could lawfully work in the United States. Jiang admitted in court that he hired at least 10 individuals between May 2, 2017 and May 2, 2018 for employment at his restaurant.
Jiang also admitted he knew that many of the individuals he hired were illegal aliens and were not authorized to accept the employment and work in the United States.
It was noted in the court documents that Jiang is a Chinese citizen and that he entered the United States using a fake passport sometime between 1997 and 1999. He did not remember the name on the passport and claimed that he disposed of the passport after arriving in the United States.
A translator was used to translate the plea agreement documents into basic Chinese for Jiang. In accepting the agreement he could face imprisonment of no more than five years and up to a $250,000 fine or both. Since he is also an undocumented immigrant from China, he could face deportation back to his home country.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com