DALLAS – A Georgian national convicted of conspiring to traffic firearms in 2009 was deported Friday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Ioseb Kharabadze, 60, was escorted by ERO agents July 12 on a flight to Georgia and turned over to Georgian officials. ERO Dallas encountered Kharabadze at the Dalby Correctional Facility in Post, Texas, Jan. 7.
"This removal is the positive result of ICE's thorough screening of jails and prisons throughout the nation," said Simona L. Flores, field office director of ERO Dallas. "This case is representative of the hard work and service by ERO personnel and our law enforcement partners to ensure public safety."
According to court documents, Kharabadze was convicted in July 2007 by a jury following a one-month trial for conspiring to smuggle surface-to-air missiles, rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missile systems, 120mm mortar launchers and other high powered weapons from Europe into the United States. Kharabadze was sentenced in March 2009 to 60 months for conspiring to traffic firearms and 48 months for brokering activities, to run consecutively.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 646 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE Homeland Security Investigations' Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.