Skip to main content
Press Release

Liberian National Pleads Guilty

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

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Isaac T. Kannah, 51, of Philadelphia, PA, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony, before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer.  The charge carries a maximum penalty of four years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey, who is handling the case, stated that, in May 2011, an Immigration Judge of the Executive Office of Immigration Review was conducting removal proceedings against George Boley, the former head of the Liberian Peace Council during the Liberian Civil War in the 1990s.  One of the issues material to the removal proceedings was whether the Liberian Peace Council was a warring or fighting faction during the war.  During the removal proceedings, Boley offered false and inaccurate testimony on this issue, asserting that the Liberian Peace Council was not a warring or fighting faction, in an effort to corruptly influence, obstruct and impede those proceedings, a felony in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1505.

In May 2011, the defendant knew that Boley was offering false and inaccurate testimony in order to obstruct the removal proceedings. Despite this knowledge, the defendant failed to notify the relevant federal authorities (such as the Immigration Judge or federal law enforcement authorities) about the crime. In addition, Kannah also sought affirmatively to conceal the crime by failing to state that the Liberian Peace Council was in fact a warring faction during the Liberian Civil War despite being questioned on that issue during his testimony at Boley’s removal proceedings.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Buffalo Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly and the Philadelphia Office of ICE-HSI.

The United States Attorney’s Office was assisted in this investigation and prosecution by Brenda Sue Thornton, a Department of Justice Trial Attorney with the Counterterrorism Section, National Security Division.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 9, 2018, at 2:30 p.m. before Judge Larimer.

Updated December 8, 2017