News and Press Releases

Alleged Illinois Alien Smuggler Acquitted by Federal Jury

May 15, 2012

Burlington, VT – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that a federal jury sitting in Rutland, Vermont has acquitted Mirvat Safady, 41, of Illinois of charges that she smuggled her brother Safwan Abdulla, 44, of Toronto, Ontario into the United States.

The United States alleged that Safady knowingly drove Abdulla across the border on Church Street, in Derby Line, Vermont on September 3, 2011. According to the Government's allegations, Safady picked up her brother and his two children in Toronto at approximately 2:00 -3:00 A.M. outside a Tim Horton's restaurant. Then, according to the Government, she drove her brother, her brother's two children, her mother, and her own two children across the border at Church Street in Derby Line because her brother had said it was a "small town" and would be easier to cross there.

All of Safady's passenger's were U.S. citizens except Abdulla, who, at the time of his arrest, possessed a Syrian passport and an expired permit to enter the United States. Abdulla previously pled guilty to illegal entry into the United States resulting from the September 3, 2011 incident and waived extradition to face child kidnaping charges in Canada.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Perella. The defendant is represented by Federal Public Defender Michael Desautels.

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