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Press Release

Bethel Park Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Transporting Venezuelan Woman into the United States

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

PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of Transporting an Illegal Alien within the United States, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

Blake Thomas Babin, 59, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Robert J. Colville.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Babin, a Lieutenant with the Bethel Park Police Department, from on or about October 20, 2022, through on or about December 30, 2022, provided funding to an 18-year-old Venezuelan female living in Colombia for her transportation from Colombia to the border between Mexico and the United States so that she could cross illegally into the United States. After two unsuccessful attempts, the female was able to get through the border somewhere near El Paso, Texas, where Babin was waiting to transport her to Phoenix and then to Pittsburgh. Babin met the female in Colombia where she was working as a prostitute. Text exchanges between the two, obtained during the investigation of the case, revealed, in part, that Babin helped smuggle the female into the United States and then transported her knowing that she illegally entered the country because he “loved her”, wanted her to help him “keep his house”, and because she enjoyed sex.

Judge Colville scheduled sentencing for March 13, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 5 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered that Babin remain on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Babin.

Updated November 9, 2023