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Three remain in federal custody months after restaurant raids

Suspects are led out the back door of Fuji & Jade Garden restaurant and loaded into a van. A targeted federal investigation by Homeland Security in June in State College involving several restaurants and led to the detention of 21 people.
Suspects are led out the back door of Fuji & Jade Garden restaurant and loaded into a van. A targeted federal investigation by Homeland Security in June in State College involving several restaurants and led to the detention of 21 people. CDT photo

After three months of near silence from officials about the June raids of a slew of Asian restaurants in the Centre Region, new information was released Monday.

On the day of the raids, when special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations executed special warrants as they swarmed into at least eight local Asian-owned businesses, boxes of evidence were carted away and 21 individuals initially were detained.

State College Police Chief Tom King told Borough Council that 11 of those people initially were released. Of the remaining 10, he said, six have been deported and one has been released. The last three are still in custody.

“The investigation continues,” King said.

Federal officials confirmed Tuesday that the remaining detainees are “in immigration proceedings.”

ICE declined comment further on the case as part of an ongoing investigation.

There has been no comment from immigration officials on the identities of the detained individuals. The ICE online detainee locator system can provide information on the status of those in custody but requires access to exact full names and country of origin or a nine-digit registration number.

Without identifying information, detainees cannot be tracked within the system to determine where they are held. Although Clinton County Correctional Facility, which does hold detainees for ICE, was thought to be an original destination for those taken into custody in the raids, people living in the country illegally awaiting immigration proceedings in Pennsylvania also are held at Lackawanna County Prison, Pike County Correctional Facility and York County Prison.

Thirty-three other detention facilities are listed in the Eastern U.S. on the ICE website, with more in other parts of the country. There is no guarantee that individuals picked up in Pennsylvania would be detained in Pennsylvania, officials have said.

The case is now in the hands of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

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