TEXAS – A Bangladeshi national formerly residing in Monterrey, Mexico, pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme to smuggle aliens to the United States for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain.
With the plea, Moktar Hossain, 31, admitted that from March 2017 to August 2018, he conspired to bring and brought Bangladeshi nationals to the United States at the Texas border in exchange for payment. Hossain operated out of Monterrey, Mexico, where he housed aliens before sending them on the last leg of the journey to the United States. Hossain paid drivers to transport the aliens to the U.S. border, and gave them instructions how to cross 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.”
“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.”
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The guilty plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
This case is being investigated by HSI Laredo, with assistance from HSI Monterrey, HSI Houston, HSI Calexico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol and the U.S. Marshals Service. The investigation is being conducted under the Extraterritorial Criminal Travel Strike Force (ECT) program, a joint partnership between the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and HSI. The ECT program focuses on human smuggling networks that may present particular national security or public safety risks, or present grave humanitarian concerns. ECT has dedicated investigative, intelligence and prosecutorial resources. ECT coordinates and receives assistance from other U.S. government agencies and foreign law enforcement authorities.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys James Hepburn and Erin Cox of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.