Managers of well-known Nocatee restaurant accused of harboring undocumented immigrants

ST JOHNS COUNTY — The managers at Tanks Sushi Bistro in World Golf Village and Nocatee are accused of hiring and harboring undocumented immigrants.

Yanshen Huang and Ge Tang, both born in China but naturalized in the U.S. in 2011, face federal charges. According to court documents, they harbored immigrants since December of 2020.

Federal agents raided a home on Pine Creek Drive in World Golf Village last week belonging to the suspects.

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Records show a three-bedroom trailer had an additional six makeshift bedrooms. Agents said they witnessed a van picking up undocumented immigrants and dropping them off to work at Tanks.

A neighbor on Pine Creek Drive said she would see the van pickup the residents, and they would duck below the windows while making the drive to work. They would also sometimes walk or bike.

One of the individuals questioned by agents said he worked from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. six days a week and made $3500 a month. That’s approximately $12 an hour.

The suspects are also accused of harboring aliens in another home in the Beachwalk development. Records show there were several makeshift bedrooms there as well, including one bed placed in a utility closet.

Agents said they witnessed a van picking immigrants up there as well.

Tanks is located in both World Golf Village and Nocatee. Action News Jax’s Robert Grant visited the location on Tuscan Way. An employee there said she has not seen the managers around and was unaware of the federal charges.

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Rebecca Black, an immigration attorney in Jacksonville, said it’s more common than expected.

“You have a lot of companies desperate for quality help and they can’t get it,” she said and added that it’s a problem because of the lack of immigration reform. “They’re not documented because they can’t get a visa to be here and they can’t get a visa to do what they want to do — which is work.”

Documents show some of the aliens were here illegally from Guatemala and crossed the Mexico border in Texas about seven years ago.