Indian Immigrants Plead Guilty to Human Smuggling

Two immigrants from India living in New Jersey pleaded guilty in federal court to smuggling foreign nationals into the United States through commercial airlines.

Indian immigrants Nileshkumar Patel, 42, and Harsad Mehta, 68, admitted to conspiring with foreign nationals to smuggle them into the U.S. for commercial advantage and financial gain, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said in a news release. Patel and Mehta were each charged with one count of human smuggling.

Patel and Mehta now face a 10-year maximum prison sentence.

“We will continue to vigorously pursue those who think the law does not apply to their criminal acts so let this be a warning,” Special Agent in Charge Terence Opiola said in a statement.  “I commend our special agents on a job well done.”

Between June 2013 and October 2015, Patel and Mehta conspired to make money by smuggling foreign nationals into the U.S. illegally, prompting an undercover investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), as Breitbart News reported at the time.

During the investigation, Patel told the undercover HSI agent that he had been smuggling people into the country since 1998.

Both Patel and Mehta admitted they had brought two foreign nationals from India to Thailand, on July 24, 2014, where they were told they would be taken to the U.S. illegally.

The pair also admitted to paying the undercover HSI agent to “transport the foreign nationals from Thailand into Newark,” according to the court documents obtained by ICE.

John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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