San Antonio, Texas - A Jordanian National was sentenced to 36 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to bring aliens to the United States and actually bringing Yemeni aliens through Mexico to the United States.
According to the plea agreement, during the second half of 2017, Moayad Heider Mohammad Aldairi, 31, conspired with others to smuggle at least six Yemeni nationals across the Texas border and into the United States in exchange for a fee. Aldairi admitted his role in transporting the aliens from Monterrey, Mexico to Piedras Negras, where he directed them to cross the Rio Grande River into the United States. Aldairi provided construction hard hats and reflective vests to some of the aliens in an effort to enable them to blend in after crossing.
“Aldairi endangered our national security by smuggling unvetted aliens across our border into the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners will steadfastly pursue investigations and prosecutions to disrupt smugglers like Aldairi and end the risk they pose to our safety.”
“The district court imposed a just sentence today. This case vividly illustrates how border security is a key component of national security,” said U.S. Attorney John Bash of the Western District of Texas. “We simply must know the identities of every individual crossing our southern border, particularly those who are nationals of countries where terrorist organizations operate freely.”
“This sentence serves as a sobering reminder about the serious consequences awaiting those involved in human smuggling,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane M. Folden of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Antonio. “This investigation is a great example of how HSI uses its global resources, foreign and interagency partnerships to bring international criminals to justice in the United States. Targeting the leaders of criminal organizations who smuggle aliens from certain countries of interest will always be a priority of HSI in protecting the homeland.”
This case was investigated by HSI Eagle Pass, with assistance from HSI New York, HSI Monterrey, HSI Jordan, the U.S. Embassy of Jordan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol and FBI San Antonio. The investigation was 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 was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys James Hepburn and Erin Cox of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Watters of the Western District of Texas.