MIAMI - A 51-year-old man from Hollywood, Fla., was sentenced to three years in federal prison Wednesday for impersonating a special agent from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This case was investigated by the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
Jerry Nazim Ali was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William Zloch to 36 months imprisonment followed by one year of supervised release. Ali previously pleaded guilty to impersonating an ICE special agent.
"Impersonating a federal agent poses a threat to public safety and will not be tolerated," said Steven J. Mocsary, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility. "ICE-OPR will continue to criminally investigate and charge individuals who impersonate ICE agents or officers, and will continue to aggressively pursue anyone who exploits immigrant communities for their own self interests."
According to statements made in court at the Oct. 28 hearing and at Ali's change of plea hearing, Ali represented himself to be an ICE special agent to a Broward County restaurant owner. He offered to expedite the immigration process for the restaurant owner's fiancée in exchange for cash. The owner paid Ali the money, but later discovered that no documents had been filed with ICE on behalf of his fiancée.
Based on this information, in late 2009 ICE-OPR special agents conducted an undercover investigation of Ali. During the investigation, Ali charged the ICE undercover agent $10,000 in exchange for providing work-authorization permits and U.S. permanent resident (aka "green") cards for eight illegal aliens. The investigation also revealed that Ali had been employed as a former Immigration Naturalization Service (INS) Immigration Inspector in New York in the 1990s.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman stated, "This case combines two crimes: immigration fraud and false impersonation of a federal law enforcement officer. "This double-whammy crime has cost the defendant his freedom; He will spend the next three years in jail."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz, Southern District of Florida, prosecuted this case.