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Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Bangladeshi National Arrested in Texas to Face Charges for a Conspiracy to Bring Aliens into the United States

A Bangladeshi national residing in Tapachula, Mexico, was arrested Aug. 31 on arrival at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, to face a superseding criminal indictment for his role in a scheme to smuggle aliens into the United States.

The unsealed superseding indictment alleges that from March 2017 to August 2018, Milon Miah conspired to bring and brought 15 Bangladeshi nationals to the United States at the Texas border in exchange for payment.  Miah allegedly maintained a hotel in Tapachula, Mexico, where he housed and fed aliens and provided them with plane tickets to locations in northern Mexico where the aliens were met by other smugglers who transported them to the U.S. border. One of Miah’s co‑conspirators in the smuggling operation, Moktar Hossain, pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to bring an alien to the United States as well as several related smuggling charges.

“Human smuggling rings endanger the security of the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.  “This arrest sends a strong message that the Department is dedicated to holding accountable those who conspire to subvert our nation’s immigration laws for their own profit.”

“Securing our borders is a national security and law enforcement priority,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas.  “Often, disparate organizations cooperate in an effort to exploit our border.  The great investigative work by multiple agencies stopped this group and is able to bring foreign based defendants to justice.”

“The arrest of Milon Miah represents a significant joint effort in ensuring national security and public safety,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Antonio.  “HSI remains steadfast in vigorously investigating and dismantling transnational criminal networks that pose a threat to our nation.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to maintain the integrity of our border and ensure the safety of our communities.”

Miah was presented yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena H. Palmero in the Southern District of Texas for his initial appearance.  At the hearing, Judge Palmero ordered that Miah be held pending transfer to Laredo for further criminal proceedings.

HSI Laredo is conducting the investigation with assistance from HSI Mexico City, HSI Monterrey, HSI Houston, HSI Calexico, Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol and the U.S. Marshals Service.  The investigation is being conducted under the Extraterritorial Criminal Travel Strike Force (ECT) program, a joint partnership between the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and HSI.  The ECT program focuses on human smuggling networks that may present particular national security or public safety risks or present grave humanitarian concerns.  ECT has dedicated investigative, intelligence and prosecutorial resources.  ECT coordinates and receives assistance from other U.S. government agencies and foreign law enforcement authorities.

Trial Attorneys James Hepburn and Erin Cox of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section are prosecuting the case with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  

Topic(s): 
Human Smuggling
Press Release Number: 
19-931
Updated September 4, 2019