FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY, October 5, 2005
ILLEGAL WORKERS AT FORT BRAGG’S ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND ARRESTED IN ONGOING ICE INVESTIGATION
RALEIGH - Frank D. Whitney, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina and Jeff Jordan, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge for U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Charlotte, announced the arrest of two Indonesian nationals and a Senegalese national who were working as contract language instructors at the U. S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School which falls under U. S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.
Yesterday, ICE agents arrested NURKIS QADARIAH, a 34-year-old native of Indonesia, and SAYF RIMAL, a 37-year-old native of Indonesia, pursuant to two criminal complaints filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina charging them with violating Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1546(a), possessing and using false documents, and Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1001(2), making false statements.
The criminal complaints specifically allege that QADARIAH and RIMAL utilized counterfeit Resident Alien Cards and made false statement under penalty of perjury that they were Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States in order to gain employment with BIB Consultants, Inc., for work at the U. S. Army Installation at Fort Bragg. BIB Consultants, Inc. is a Florida-based company that provides contract language instruction services to U. S. Special Forces and other U. S. military personnel at Fort Bragg.
The complaints allege that neither QADARIAH, nor RIMAL are lawful permanent residents of the United States. In fact, the complaint alleges that there are pending removal and deportation proceedings against them both in New York, N. Y. QADARIAH and RIMAL made their initial appearance today in federal court in Raleigh, N. C. in connection with the charges.
ICE agents also arrested OUSMANE MOREAU, a 38-year-old native of Senegal, last night in connection with the same investigation. MOREAU was charged with administrative immigration violations, specifically being in the United States illegally. He will be placed in removal proceedings.
“Unauthorized workers who use fraudulent documents to gain work at sensitive U. S. military installations pose a serious homeland security threat. Not only are their identities in question, but they are also vulnerable to potential exploitation by terrorists and other criminals given their illegal status in this country. Furthermore, such individuals may have access to some of the most sensitive work sites in the nation,” said ICE Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Jordan.
Lt. Colonel Hans Bush from Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N. C. stated, “in this specific case these instructors had a purely academic role and were not exposed to any special operations unique information.”
The three arrests were the result of a joint investigation by ICE, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U. S. Army Criminal Investigative Division, and Fort Bragg security officials. The investigation continues.
The arrests are the latest in ICE’s effort to target and remove illegal aliens working at sensitive sites and critical infrastructure locations around the nation, including airports, seaports, nuclear plants, chemical plants, and defense facilities. In accordance with ICE’s homeland security mission, ICE special agents prioritize work site enforcement efforts by focusing on investigations related to critical infrastructure and national security.
As a part of this effort, ICE agents continue to focus attention on facilities and companies that provide illegal contract employees to work on U. S. military bases and on U. S. military products. Some recent cases include:
•On July 26, 2005, ICE agents arrested six illegal aliens working at the Homestead Air Reserve Base in Homestead, Florida. The men, who were contracted by a Texas-based corporation, were working on a major runway-resurfacing project. Officers working at the Air Reserve’s main gate noticed irregularities in the documents presented by the three men and called ICE for follow-up.
•On July 6, 2005, ICE special agents, working with the Defense Criminal Investigation Service, the Air Force Office of Investigation, the Social Security Office of the Inspector General and the Johnston County Sheriff’s office, arrested 48 illegal aliens who were working at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N. C.
•On June 1, 2005, ICE agents arrested 26 illegal workers who had access to the Northrup Grumman Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The individuals were presented for prosecution for a range of crimes including using fake documents to gain employment making false statements, and illegal re-entry to the United States after deportation.
•On May 17, 2005, ICE agents arrested 9 unauthorized aliens performing contract work at a Winston-Salem, N. C. facility that refits the U.S. Navy’s P-3 Orion aircraft - which is the Navy’s primary anti-submarine patrol aircraft. The aliens are known to have performed work on the Navy aircraft.
•On April 14, 2005, ICE agents arrested 18 illegal aliens working for a San Diego company that performed maintenance on the U. S. Navy vessels in San Diego. Most of the aliens had badges authorizing them to enter the Navy base. An ICE audit of the contractor revealed that nearly half of its employees were illegal workers. The arrests were the latest in an ongoing ICE probe that has netted 163 arrests of illegal aliens with access to military bases in the San Diego area.
As to the criminal complaints filed in Raleigh, N. C. yesterday, Assistant U.S. Attorney John S. Bowler is handling the cases for the federal government.
A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A trial date has not been set.
News releases are available on the U.S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.