Man Pleads Guilty During Trial On Charge Of Unlawfully Procuring Citizenship
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Allegheny County pleaded guilty after the first witness’s testimony in today’s trial in federal court in Pittsburgh on a charge of unlawful procurement of citizenship or naturalization, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Lahbib Hannoune, 35, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.
In connection with the guilty plea, Hannoune falsely answered in the negative a question about whether he had committed a crime for which he had not yet been arrested during his naturalization proceedings. At the time he answered the question, Hannoune had already engaged in unlawful contact with a person represented to be a minor for the purpose of engaging in online video display of sexual conduct. The person was actually an undercover police officer. Hannoune procured naturalized U.S. citizenship based upon his answer.
Judge McVerry scheduled the sentencing for Feb. 11, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of ten years and a mandatory order rescinding his citizenship. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Hull is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigation-Immigration Customs Enforcement and the Office of Attorney General conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Lahbib Hannoune.