A U.S. District Court Judge in Des Moines has extended the trial date for an Atlantic couple charged with employing and harboring illegal workers. A criminal complaint filed against Shui Ming Lin and Xiu Wen Zhang on June 26-th, alleges the couple gave safe harbor to four undocumented Chinese and one Mexican immigrant, and allowed them to work at their restaurants in Harlan and Atlantic.
Their trial was scheduled to begin October second. On September 19th, attorneys for Lin and Zhang asked for a delay in the case. The couple’s attorneys cited the complexity of the case, with regard to multiple warrants, and potentially complex discovery issues, as one of the reasons for the continuance. They also contend there has not been enough time to review the discovery materials, and therefore not enough time to prepare for trial.
In his ruling Thursday (Sept. 28th), Judge Harold Vietor granted the defense motion, and ordered the trial moved to November sixth. Meantime, Lin and Zhang are free on their own recognizance and recently reopened their China Garden restaurant in Atlantic.