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Press Release

Federal jury finds Sierra Leone national guilty of resisting deportation orders

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

ALEXANDRIA, La. Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that a federal jury found a Sierra Leone national guilty Tuesday of refusing to leave the country twice after being ordered to depart.


Sheku Kumalah, 31, of Sierra Leone, was found guilty of two counts of failure to depart. United States District Judge Dee D. Drell presided over the trial, which started Monday and ended Tuesday. The jury returned a guilty verdict after deliberating for approximately an hour. Evidence admitted at trial revealed that on two occasions U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers attempted to remove Kumalah via an escorted commercial flight from the Alexandria International Airport. The defendant hampered officers’ efforts on July 12, 2016 and August 16, 2016 by verbally and physically resisting attempts to escort him onto the plane.


Kumalah faces four years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for each count. Sentencing has been set for September 29, 2017.


The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Enforcement and Removal Operations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David J. Ayo and Joseph T. Mickel are prosecuting the case.

Updated June 28, 2017