Washington: An Indian has been sentenced to three years of imprisonment on charges of trafficking immigrants from India into the United States, the Department of Justice said. Kaushik Jayantibhai Thakkar, 33, along with Brazilian national Fabiano Augusto Amorim were sentenced on Friday to serve 36 months in prison for their roles in smuggling undocumented migrants to the US for private financial gain, the Acting Assistant US Attorney General Mythili Raman said.
In addition to their prison terms, Thakkar and Amorim were sentenced to serve two years of supervised release, as per the order of the US District Judge Ewing Werlein in Southern District of Texas. On December 2, 2012, and January 4, 2013, respectively, Thakkar and Amorim each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to bring undocumented migrants into the US for profit and to one count of unlawfully bringing two undocumented migrants into the United States for profit. They worked together and with other co-conspirators to smuggle individuals from India into the United States, according to court documents.
In support of the conspiracy, Thakkar and others recruited individuals in India who were willing to pay up to USD 60,000 to be smuggled into the US. For their smuggling operations, Thakkar, Amorim and their associates used a network of co-conspirators in South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the United States, including the state of Texas. Using this network, they and their co-conspirators transported groups of undocumented migrants from locations within India through South America, Central America and the Caribbean and then into the US by various means, including by air travel, automobiles, water craft and foot, the Justice Department said. Many of these smuggling events involved illegal entry into the US via the border between the United States and Mexico near McAllen and Laredo, Texas, it added.