The two alleged leaders of two groups of Chinese workers, mostly illegal workers at Pacific Imperial’s ongoing casino and resort project in Garapan, have asked for more time to look into the U.S. government’s motion to detain them pending trial.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Friday granted the request of Xiufang Qi and Wencai Guo of Beilida Overseas (CNMI) Ltd. to move the detention hearing to Wednesday at 1:30pm for both Qi and Guo.
Manglona ordered the U.S. Probation Office to submit a report regarding the background of the proposed third-party custodians for the defendants.
Preliminary hearing will be on April 20 at 10:30am.
Attorneys Robert T. Torres and Steven Pixley have been appointed as counsels for Guo and Qi respectively.
If Qi is proven she is not qualified for court-appointed counsel, she will be required to reimburse the court for payment of attorney’s fee.
Pixley said that during the interview of Qi by the U.S. Probation Office, the defendant mentioned that she has a family business in China worth 10 million RMB or $1.5 million.
Pixley said that U.S. Probation needs to verify this information because he is not sure if Qi’s statement is accurate.
Assistant U.S. attorney Eric O’Malley appeared as counsel for the U.S. government.
Qi and Guo were stopped from leaving the CNMI at the Francisco C. Ada Saipan International Airport last Wednesday. The two were allegedly bound for China. They were taken to federal court on Friday after the U.S. government moved for their detention pending trial due to being flight risks.
The two were arrested on charges of unlawful employment of aliens and bringing in and harboring certain aliens. Separate complaints containing the same charges were also filed against four others: MCC International project manager Yuqing Zhao, Beilida Overseas president and director Hui Lu, Beilida’s Hongwei Ma, and MCC electrician Pei Ruan.
MCC International is the construction contractor for Imperial Pacific. Beilida Overseas is a subcontractor of MCC. The Garapan offices of the two companies were searched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently.