News and Press Releases

CANADIAN COUPLE SENTENCED FOR HUMAN SMUGGLING SCHEME
Defendants Took Money From Undercover Mounties for Smuggle Through Border Park

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2009

JAS BINNING, 48, and JAGDEEP BINNING, 32, both of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, were sentenced this morning in U.S. District Court in Seattle for Conspiracy to Smuggle Aliens in connection with a scheme to smuggle people into the U.S. from Canada via the Peace Arch Park. JAS BINNING was sentenced to six months in prison, two years of supervised release, and a $5,000 fine. JAGDEEP BINNING was sentenced to time served (50 days in prison), two years of supervised release, and is jointly responsible for the $5,000 fine. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman told the couple that smuggling humans for profit is “disrespectful to your country and to mine... and to all those people who come in and legitimately make their way as immigrants.”

According to the records filed in the case, between at least July 2008, and December 2008, the couple conspired to smuggle people into the U.S. using their house that borders Peace Arch Park in Surrey, British Columbia. On August 30, 2008, JAS BINNING charged a man $4,500 Canadian to be smuggled into the U.S. JAS BINNING took the man (who was actually an undercover RCMP constable) to his home and then showed him how to walk across the park and meet up with an associate on the other side of the border. On December13, 2008, JAS BINNING arranged for another man, who was an undercover RCMP constable, to also be smuggled across the border. The man paid $5,000 to JAS BINNING. JAGDEEP BINNING, who was pregnant at the time, accompanied the man into the park and noted that the smuggling was “easier” in the summer when the park was crowded. JAS BINNING briefed the constable on how to cross the park without attracting attention. After her arrest, JAGDEEP BINNING spent 50 days at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac, before being released to return home for the birth of her daughter.

Both defendants pleaded guilty February 10, 2009.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman imposed the fine in the amount that the RCMP undercover constable had paid to the BINNINGs, saying she did not want them to profit from the crime. “To profit from (human smuggling) is even more hideous,” she said,”because you prey on those who are desperate to see their families.”

The Canadian government has moved to civilly forfeit the BINNING’s home just north of the park on Peace Park Drive since it was used in the smuggling activities.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ye-Ting Woo, who heads up the Working Group on Human Trafficking for the United States Attorney’s Office.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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