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Feds File Charges Against Chinese Restaurant Manager

Mei Ya Zhang, manager of the Twin Super Buffet Chinese eatery in Brewer, one of the Zhang family's 11 Chinese restaurants in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, was arrested yesterday and "charged with conspiracy and aiding and abetting harboring of illegal aliens for commercial advantage and private financial gain," according to The Bangor Daily News. The Zhangs, who also own a Super China Buffet in Waterville, New China Super Buffet in Lewiston and Kon Asian Bistro in Portland, have been the target of a federal investigation for seven years.

The investigation, which began in February 2006, revealed that the Zhang organization employed and harbored scores of illegal aliens at its Chinese buffets and bistros, according to the complaint filed in April. The family allegedly harbored them at 11 safe houses located near the restaurants and ferried them to and from work in vans.
Me Ya Zhang, 28, has not yet entered a plea and is "the first family member in Maine to be charged with a crime." After her appearance before a federal judge, she was released on $10,000 bond and returned to work at the restaurant. All the cases against the family have been consolidated and a trial is tentatively set for July.

· Manager of Chinese Restaurant Charged With Harboring Illegal Employees [BDN]

Photo: WABI TV]