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Gulfport restaurant manager sentenced to 18 months in prison for harboring illegal aliens

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A Gulfport man has been sentenced to serve 18 months in federal prison and pay several fines for harboring illegal aliens within the United States.

In mid-November, 41-year-old Hui Weng and Yun Mei Weng pled guilty to illegally hiring and harboring aliens to work at Panda Palace Buffet since 2019.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was informed that the illegal aliens were present at the restaurant’s Gulfport and D’Iberville locations, with Hui Weng working as the manager in Gulfport. HSI later revealed that although the facilities were rented, the owner of the equipment was Yun Mei Weng, whose late husband managed the D’Iberville location.

From the investigation, federal officials determined that the Wengs were allowing multiple illegal aliens from Central America to work in the back of the restaurants, while employees in the visible parts of the facilities were U.S. citizens.

In addition to hiring the illegal aliens, the Wengs housed the aliens at two locations, including one rented house in Gulfport and another house in D’Iberville. The Wengs also provided transportation for the aliens back and forth between the harboring houses and the Panda Palace Buffet’s locations.

On March 10, 2020, search warrants were served on both Panda Palace locations and the two houses being used as housing for illegal alien workers. A total of five illegal aliens were discovered, four of which were adults who had unlawfully returned to the U.S. after being removed.

As a result, Hui Weng will be required to serve time in prison, pay a $10,000 fine, and $5,100 in special assessments for harboring illegal aliens within the U.S.

Yun Mei Weng was also sentenced to five years of federal probation and a $5,000 fine for misprision of a felony regarding the harboring of illegal aliens.

Both of the defendants also were ordered to forfeit a house and land in D’Iberville.

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