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Press Release

South African Charged With Failure To Depart U.S. And Assault On Federal Employee

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A grand jury returned a four-count superseding indictment charging Ziyaya Mtola, 39, with two counts of failure to depart the United States and two counts of assault on a federal employee, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

The indictment alleges that Mtola is an alien and a citizen of the Republic of South Africa who physically resisted efforts to remove him from the United States pursuant to an order of removal on March 29, 2013, and April 22, 2013, physically injuring two immigration agents on the latter date.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Tripi, following investigation by agents of the Enforcement and Removal Operations of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 12, 2015