Guam – Shixu Huag, Zhan Shan Zhang, Ping Ping Zhang and Li Hua Yi have been sentenced in CNMI District Court.
The so called “Rota Four” were found guilty in July of conspiring to defraud the United States for trying to sneak into Guam by boat from Rota.
Wednesday, visiting Judge Philip Pro sentenced the leader of the group, Shixu Huang, to twelve months in prison followed by a term of supervised release.
Zhan Shan Zhang got a nine month sentence of imprisonment followed by supervised release.
The two female defendants, Ping Ping Zhang and Li Hua Yi, received sentences of thirteen days imprisonment followed by one year of supervised release for their roles in the offense.
As a condition of their supervised release, the defendants must meet with immigration officials to determine whether they should be deported.
A release quotes U.S. Attorney Alicia A.G. Limtiaco as saying: “ Human smuggling represents significant risks to homeland security, and can be life threatening to those involved. When smugglers are caught with attempting to transport illegal aliens into Guam, they face serious federal charges and prison sentences. Their lives are also at stake—they can die from dehydration, exhaustion, or other ailments, or risk drowning while crossing international waters. Guam and Rota alone are separated by more than 30 miles of deep ocean that can be extremely dangerous if individuals are not properly equipped.”
U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the Department of Public Safety in Rota conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Kirk Schuler and Eric O’Malley prosecuted the case.