INDIAN NATIONAL CONVICTED OF HUMAN SMUGGLING
Kent Resident tied to Conspiracy that Smuggled Dozens of Indian and Pakistani Nationals into U.S.
HARMINDER SINGH, 38, of Kent, Washington was convicted yesterday following a seven day jury trial of Conspiracy to Smuggle and Transport Illegal Aliens, Bringing an Illegal Alien to the United States, two counts of Transporting illegal aliens, and one count of Harboring an alien. After the trial, SINGH was immediately remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal. At sentencing before U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, SINGH faces a mandatory minimum term of three years in prison, up to ten years in prison. Following his prison term the government will seek his deportation from the United States.
SINGH was identified as a member of a human smuggling conspiracy in parallel investigations in the United States and Canada. Testimony at trial indicated as many as one hundred citizens of India and Pakistan were smuggled first into Canada and later into the United States by this smuggling ring. The persons smuggled into the United States were required to pay enormous smuggling fees to conspirators in India, Canada, and the United States. Upon arrival in the State of Washington, SINGH was the United States point of contact who was responsible for arranging for the transportation of the smuggled persons to their intended destination.
SINGH was recorded on numerous wire tap phone calls discussing smuggling activities with some of the Canadian co-conspirators. SINGH traveled with one smuggled alien from Sea-Tac airport to New York and then paid $2000 for the illegal transportation. SINGH was also convicted in connection with his transportation of an alien from near the U.S./ Canada border to his Kent home. At the time of SINGH’s arrest on April 12, 2006, the alien was located in SINGH’s apartment.
Nineteen people in two separate indictments have been charged in connection with the smuggling ring. Eleven have been convicted or entered guilty pleas. Four defendants are being extradited from Canada to face charges in the United States.
The investigation into the ring was dubbed “Smugglers Uncle” by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Both are agencies of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The case was investigated by ICE and CBP, with assistance from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ye-Ting Woo and Lisca Borichewski.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.