PARKERSBURG, WV (WVNS) — A Parkersburg man pleaded guilty to an immigration crime.
63-year-old Frederick Sayre Anderson pleaded guilty to concealing, harboring, and shielding an alien from detection.
According to court statements, Anderson signed and submitted Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancée, to the United States Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on June 10, 2010. He revealed that he filed the form to get a 90-day fiancée K-1 nonimmigrant visa, in order for a foreign national to come back into the United States.
The foreign national received the visa, that stated she and Anderson would need to marry within 90 days. On January 8, 2011, the woman arrived in the United States, where Anderson proceeded to pick her up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Anderson took her to Parkersburg, West Virginia the next day, and until May 7, 2021, the woman lived and worked at Anderson’s business.
It was revealed by Anderson that the foreign national was not paid for the work she did at his business. He also admitted that they never got married, and that her K-1 visa expired on April 8, 2011, which meant that her presence in the United States was against the law.
Federal immigration agents went to Anderson’s business approximately three times in May 2021. During the visits, Anderson revealed that he ensured that the woman would not be found by the government officials by telling her to hide behind the business. Anderson continued to lie to the federal agents by claiming the woman had left months before, did not live there, and he did not know her location.
Anderson’s sentencing is scheduled for April 18, 2024, and he faces up to five years in prison, three years of probation, and a $250,000 fine.
Mr. Anderson’s criminal conduct facilitated the exploitation of an individual for more than a decade. While human trafficking is not charged in this case, it underscores the importance of learning how to identify, prevent and respond to coerced labor and other forms of human trafficking.Will Thompson | United States Attorney
The announcement was made by Thompson, who complimented the West Virginia State Police, the Parkersburg Police Department, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for their work on the investigation.