RESTAURANT OWNER Charged After Five Illegals Die In House Fire

Five illegal aliens were left to die in the basement of a restaurant owner’s home in a tragic case of harboring illegals for cheap labor. You won’t believe what happens to these five men when the house they’re being kept in catches on fire. Three teens who had arrived in the U.S. six months prior were victims of the house fire. Cheap labor brought to the U.S. is horrible for the illegals. They are often treated like these men were treated:

“In all my years of law enforcement, I have never witnessed such blatant disregard for respect of human life,” Novi Police Chief David Molloy said today.

Just another reason why we need to close our border!

In a tragic immigration case that ended with five dead restaurant workers, the federal government announced criminal charges today against a man they believe bears responsibility in the deaths: the Chinese restaurant owner who hired them and housed them in the Novi home where they died last month.

Roger Tam, 55, owner of Kim’s Garden on Novi Road, is charged with harboring five undocumented immigrants — including three teenagers — who wound up dead in a fire that started on a mattress in the basement where they were sleeping. Tam, records show, owned the home on Mystic Forest Drive, where the Mexican immigrants slept at night as a condition of working at his 26-year-old restaurant — a place where one undocumented worker made $2,000 a month working 12-hour shifts, six days a week, plus Chinese food while on the job.

“He’s a really good man, a really good man. He’s run that restaurant for a really long time,” Samuel Bennett, one of Tam’s lawyers, said after a hearing in U.S. District Court today. “He truly loved those men and boys as if they were his own family.”

Tam, a native of Hong Kong who came to the U.S. in 1986 and became a U.S. citizen years later, appeared in federal court in shackles and handcuffs this afternoon while his family sat in the courtroom with blank stares. He was ordered jailed pending a detention hearing next Wednesday, when a judge will decide whether he should be released on bond.

Tam’s wife, Ada Lei, 48, a native of China and U.S. citizen, also was charged in the complaint. She has not made a formal appearance yet.

The complaint against the couple includes a notable detail about the 911 call that was made on the morning of the Jan. 31 fire: No mention was ever made of any individuals sleeping in the basement.

“My house is on fire,” the caller stated around 9:31 a.m.

“OK, and do you see flames?” the dispatcher asked.

“Ah, in the basement,” the caller responded.

“OK, are you able to get everyone out of the house?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yes,” the caller responded.

Seven minutes later, a second 911 call was made. The dispatcher said help was on the way.

What fire officials would discover was that five Mexican immigrants had been sleeping in the basement, where smoke detectors had been disabled. The homeowner, Tam, who was standing in the driveway when officials arrived, said he didn’t know the victims’ names and that he had no documentation for them.

“My immediate sense is that this extremely tragic loss of life could have been avoided,” said Marlon Miller, who heads the Detroit office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). “HSI simply will not turn a blind eye to employers who shirk their responsibility to maintain a legal workforce.”

According to the criminal complaint, here is what happened on the morning of Jan. 31, following the 911 call for a fire on Mystic Forest Drive:

When emergency responders arrived, Tam was standing in the driveway, along with his college-age daughter, Jennifer, who told a police officer that there may be five Asian males in their 20s inside the house, and that they occasionally stayed in the basement, which had five beds, a futon, stove, refrigerator and a bathroom. Police would later learn that Tam had gone to the house in a Lexus to pick up the immigrants for work that morning when he discovered the fire, which officials believe may have been started by a cigarette.

Tam initially told police that he had hired five immigrants about six months ago after they came to his business looking for work, the complaint said. He paid them cash and allowed them to reside in the basement of his Novi home “on a nightly basis as a condition of employment.” Tam, however, told police that he did not know the men’s names, and did not have documentation that would help identify them, the complaint said.

Novi police ended up identifying the five men: Leonel Alvarado Rodriguez, 18; Miguel Nunez Diaz, 23; Brayan Alexis Medina Contreras, 16; Simeon Diaz Nunez, 18, and Pablo Encino, age unknown. Department of Homeland Security databases revealed that all five men were here illegally and had entered the country in the last six months.

“In all my years of law enforcement, I have never witnessed such blatant disregard for respect of human life,” Novi Police Chief David Molloy said today.

Police conducted a follow-up interview with the daughter, who said that she grew up in the Novi home but that her parents bought a lake house in 2015 and moved there days before the fire because of a cockroach problem at Mystic Forest Drive. She said her father often brought individuals to the Mystic Forest Drive home when he would come home from work at night at around 10 p.m. and that they would leave in the morning. She said she had no knowledge of their immigration status, other than that one spoke Chinese, the others Spanish.

According to the complaint, Novi police ended up locating a brother of one of the fire victims who lives in the U.S. and told police that he also once worked at Tam’s restaurant for two months last fall, and that his brother had been working there since April 2014. He said that he, his brother and three others slept in the basement, and that Tam would pick them up and drive them to work in the morning.

On Feb. 3, federal agents searched Tam’s homes and seized documents, including spreadsheets, payroll information and handwritten notes. Eight days later, he was criminally charged. He and his wife face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Read more: DFP

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