HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — UPDATE (June 21, 2018):
After pleading guilty in 2017 to charges related to labor trafficking, the former managers of a Harrisonburg restaurant have been sentenced.
On Thursday, a federal judge handed sentences to Maria Rosalba Alvarado, former owner of Inca's Secret Shop on Neff Ave., and her son, Felix Adriano Chujoy. Alvarado and Chujoy reached a plea agreement on October 19, 2017.
Alvarado pleaded guilty to two felony counts of harboring people who entered the country illegally and two misdemeanors of hiring immigrants who were not permitted to work in the country. She received a 12-month split sentence for the felony counts, with six months to be served in prison and six months of home detention. Her time already served will be added to her sentence. Alvarado was also sentenced to six months for the misdemeanors, which will be served concurrent with — or at the same time as — the felony sentence, and she will have to pay $5,220 in fines.
Chujoy pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting. He was also found guilty by a jury on three felony counts: conspiracy to witness tampering, witness tampering and obstruction. He received a 12-month and one day sentence in prison for the felony convictions, with a credit for the time he's already served. He was also sentenced to three months in prison for each misdemeanor, which will be served concurrently with the felony sentence. The federal judge waived all fines for Chujoy due to the financial stress this case put on him.
In 2015, Alvarado, Chujoy, and Gladys Chujoy, Alvarado's daughter, were indicted for allegedly recruiting foreign workers to work in the United States as part of a labor trafficking conspiracy. Gladys was found not guilty by a federal jury in 2017.
ORIGINAL (Oct. 19, 2017):
The former management of a Harrisonburg restaurant pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court on Thursday, October 19 to concealing people who entered the country illegally.
Maria Rosalba Alvarado and her son, Felix Adriano Chujoy, were in charge of the now-shuttered Inca's Secret Shop on Neff Ave. In 2015, they were indicted for allegedly recruiting foreign workers to work in the United States as part of a labor trafficking conspiracy.
In a plea agreement, Rosalba admitted to two felony counts of harboring people who were entered the country illegally as well as two misdemeanors of hiring immigrants who were not permitted to work. Altogether, the charges carry a possible 11-year prison sentence and/or more than $500,000 in fines.
Chujoy pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting.
Alvardo opened Inca's Secret in 2007. Chujoy managed the Peruvian restaurant from time to time when his mother was not available, according to court documents.
A third person, Galdys Chujoy, originally faced charges in connection to the case, but she was found not guilty by a federal jury earlier this year.
Sentencing for Rosalba and Chujoy was set for January 31, 2018.