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Press Release

Two Men Sentenced To Prison For Smuggling Foreign Nationals Into The United States

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – Two men were each sentenced to 17 months in prison today for their roles in a conspiracy to illegally transport foreign nationals into the United States via commercial airline flights, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Nileshkumar Patel, 42, and Harsad Mehta, 67, both of India, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini to separate superseding informations charging them each with one count of conspiracy to smuggle foreign nationals into the United States for commercial advantage and private financial gain. Judge Martini imposed the sentences today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Patel and Mehta admitted that from June 2013 through October 2015, they conspired to make money by recruiting Indian nationals to enter and reside in the United States illegally. Patel and Mehta admitted that on July 24, 2014, they brought two Indian nationals to Bangkok, Thailand, so that they could be transported into the United States. They also admitted paying an individual – who was actually an undercover officer – to transport the foreign nationals from Thailand into Newark.

In addition to the prison terms, Judge Martini sentenced them Patel and Mehta to three years of supervised release.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Terence S. Opiola in Newark, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Navarro of the U.S Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark.

Updated March 21, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-081