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Moktar Hossain, 31, has pleaded guilty to smuggling illegal immigrants into the U.S. from Mexico for the purpose of turning a profit, reports the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
In a news release, the DOJ revealed that the Bangladeshi national formerly residing in Monterrey, Mexico, admitted to housing illegal immigrants near the U.S.-Mexico border, many from Bangladesh, between March 2017 to August 2018.
Additionally, Hossain paid multiple drivers to transport the illegal immigrants across the border, even going so far as to provide instructions for crossing the Rio Grande River.
“Human smuggling is a national security threat,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
“Today’s plea makes clear that defendants who smuggle illegal aliens across the United States border for profit should expect to face the consequences in a United States courtroom.”
Hossain’s arrest is the result of a collaborative effort between multiple divisions of the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, as well as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol, and the U.S. Marshals Service.
“HSI is committed to dismantling criminal schemes that mitigate the security of our borders and disrupting the flow of illicit money to these criminal networks,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden of U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Antonio.
“HSI remains steadfast in aggressively pursuing members of transnational criminal organizations that exploit and endanger the people they smuggle into the United States. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to maintain the integrity of our borders and the safety of our communities.”
According to a 2018 DOJ news release, authorities arrested Hossain on November 29, 2018.
The original unsealed indictment alleged that between March 2017 to August 2018, Hossain, 30 at the time, conspired to bring and succeeded in bringing a total of 14 Bangladeshi nationals to the U.S. through the Texas border.
According to the DOJ, he operated a hotel as a front for his illegal activities where he housed the prospective illegal immigrants before they were transported by drivers across the border and then past the Rio Grande River.
Hossain was presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena Hanovice Palermo in the Southern District of Texas on November 30, 2018. Judge Palermo ordered that Hossain be held before being transferred to Laredo for further criminal proceedings.
“Homeland Security Investigations remains steadfast in vigorously pursuing members of transnational criminal networks that exploit and endanger the people they smuggle into the United States,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Folden in 2018.
“Smugglers are driven by simple greed with no thought for human compassion. HSI continues to work with our law enforcement partners to maintain the integrity of our border and the safety of our communities.”
“Protecting our country from illegal immigration and the national security threat it poses is a priority for the Department of Justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski at the time.
“The Criminal Division is dedicated to working with our law enforcement partners both here and abroad to disrupt the flow of illegal aliens into the United States, and bring those who facilitate their travel to justice.”
Hossain’s guilty plea has been accepted by U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana, but his official sentencing has not been scheduled, yet.