Chipley Man Gets 3-Years in Visa Fraud Case

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - A Chipley man has been sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison for smuggling more than 70 undocumented workers from Bulgaria and Romania into the United States to work in Panhandle resorts.

Authorities say Justin Eric King helped 72 aliens enter the country under fraudulent visa petitions. A judge sentenced him Tuesday.

King, 27, harbored another 39 aliens and an additional 1,558 aliens would have entered the United States if additional fraudulent petitions King worked on had been approved.

He was convicted in December of visa fraud and conspiracy to commit alien smuggling.

One woman and two men pleaded guilty to helping King with the visa fraud scheme. The three natives of the former Soviet Union testified against him at trial.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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