[Stop-traffic] News/US: Man admits aiding illegal immigrants

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Man admits aiding illegal immigrants
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Dec 31 1903 - 23:05:03 EST

Man admits aiding illegal immigrants
By John C.K. Fisher
The Kentucky Post, August 15, 2000

A Hebron man has pleaded guilty to luring Estonian immigrants into the
United States as part of a job placement operation that federal officials
say is still being investigated.

''The case is ongoing. We are continuing our investigation,'' said Roy
Schremp, the agent in charge of the Kentucky office of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service.

Schremp declined to say whether more immigrants could be involved in the case.

Alexandre Grunichev, 41, a native of Estonia in Eastern Europe, pleaded
guilty Monday in U.S. District Court, Lexington, to one count of aiding and
abetting the transportation of illegal immigrants.

Grunichev's companion, Sheila Dean, also of Hebron, pleaded guilty to a
similar charge earlier this month.

Both Grunichev and Ms. Dean will be sentenced on Dec. 19 by U.S. District
Judge Henry R. Wilhoit Jr.

Although both Grunichev and Ms. Dean could face up to 10 years each in
prison, their sentences will be determined by whether they have any prior

Grunichev's attorney, Jeff Stepner of Covington, wouldn't speculate what
sentence his client could receive. However, Stepner did say he expected
eight other counts against Grunichev to be dismissed.

Grunichev remains in federal custody. Ms. Dean, who is free on bond, and
Grunichev were indicted earlier this year in Covington.

The indictment said Ms. Dean and Grunichev conspired between May 1, 1999,
and March 15 to induce illegal immigrants to come to the United States.

The indictment said someone whose identity is known to the grand jury
placed advertisements in Estonian newspapers promising jobs in the United

The person would tell the Estonian to apply for an American visitor's visa
instead of a work visa.

The person then would tell the immigrants to contact Ms. Dean and Grunichev
after they had arrived here, the indictment said.

Ms. Dean and Grunichev then helped the immigrants find apartments and
charged them $300 to find jobs, the indictment said.

Ms. Dean prepared false employment verification records for American
officials, and the couple collected rent and other money from the
immigrants, the indictment said.

The indictment named seven people from Estonia as victims of Ms. Dean and
Grunichev. Officials declined to release information on the resident status
of the immigrants involved with Ms. Dean and Grunichev.
Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

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