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Press Release

Operation False Haven: Convicted Child Molester Sentenced for Naturalization Fraud and Judicially Denaturalized

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that today in federal court, Simbala Gory, 45, a naturalized citizen of the United States, born in Mali and residing in Guilford County, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Richard E. Myers, II to three years’ probation and six months’ home detention following a guilty plea to naturalization fraud. Moreover, Gory was judicially denaturalized as a United States citizen.

According to court records, on July 26, 2016, Gory fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship by making materially false statements under oath regarding his naturalization application.  In response to the question “Have you ever committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit, a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?” he answered “No.”  Also, in response to the question “Were you ever involved in any way with any of the following - Forcing, or trying to force, someone to have any kind of sexual contact or relations?” he answered “No.”  At the time of his guilty plea to naturalization fraud, Gory admitted the response to the first question was false, but maintained the answer to the second question was not false.

On September 28, 2020, in the Superior Court of North Carolina in Guilford County, Gory was convicted of sex offense-parental role.  Gory was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of between 20 and 84 months and ordered to register as a sex offender.  According to court records, Gory committed the offense on June 1, 2009.  Gory’s crime resulted in the birth of a child.   Gory was not arrested until after he naturalized, thus immigration officials were unaware of his crime.   

G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina likewise noted, “Those engaged in such criminal conduct, or considering doing so, would do well to realize that our office is committed to pursuing these acts for prosecution, even if their conduct does not come to light until well after the crime.  They should forever be worried their actions will catch up to them.”

“Gory attempted to hide his despicable crimes in order to gain citizenship and now his past has caught up to him,” said Special Agent in Charge Ronnie Martinez, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in North Carolina and South Carolina. “Removing predators that target our vulnerable children makes our communities safer and HSI will continue to search for these criminals and bring them to justice.”

Agents with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and Homeland Security Investigations, assigned to the Document Benefit Fraud Task Force, investigated the case as part of Operation False Haven, an ongoing initiative to identify and prosecute child molesters and other egregious felons who fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-cr-00503-1M(1).

Updated September 20, 2021