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Likely to receive one year probation

By Ferdie de la Torre SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, June 26, 2010) - Five more Chinese nationals involved in a human smuggling case filed in federal court entered a plea bargain with the U.S. government yesterday.

Jian Bo Yang, Lei Xu, Yin Bin Zheng, Bo Zhou, and Wenjun Huo, through their respective counsels, signed a plea agreement with the U.S. government, represented by assistant U.S. attorney Kirk Schuler.

The defendants are expected to appear for a change of plea hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, at 3:30pm before U.S. District Court for the NMI designated judge David A. Wiseman.

Under the plea agreements, Yang, Xu, Zheng, Zhou, and Huo are going to plead guilty to one count of attempted improper entry by an alien.

The offense carries maximum penalties of six months in prison and a $5,000 maximum fine. The U.S. agreement is expected to recommend a one-year probation sentence for each defendant.

The five were among 24 Chinese nationals that boarded a boat on Saipan on Jan. 5, 2010, to carry out their plan to unlawfully enter Guam. They were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Last week four of the defendants pleaded guilty to attempted improper entry by an alien and were subsequently sentenced to one year probation.

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