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September 28, 2021Laredo, TX, United StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

Bangladeshi national sentenced to prison for his role in a human smuggling conspiracy

LAREDO, Texas - A Bangladeshi national was sentenced Tuesday to more than three years in federal prison for his role in a human smuggling conspiracy to smuggle noncitizens from Mexico into the United States.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from HSI offices in Mexico City, Houston and Calexico, Mexico; and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol, and U.S. Marshals Service.

Mohamad Milon Hossain, 41, was sentenced Sept. 28 in federal court to 46 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty March 5.

“Today’s sentencing is a great example of how Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) uses its worldwide resources and interagency partnerships to bring international criminals like Mohamad Milon Hossain to justice in the United States,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden, HSI San Antonio. “Hossain was a key facilitator and smuggler of Bangladeshi nationals and his actions put our national security at risk. HSI is committed to working with its domestic and international partners to combat this type of crime throughout the globe.”

“This human smuggling conspiracy operated on a global scale and endangered the lives of Bangladeshi migrants,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Justice Department will continue working with our law enforcement partners here and abroad to bring human smugglers like Hossain to justice and to disrupt these criminal networks that unlawfully bring migrants from across the world through Central America and into the United States.”

“This criminal placed profit before life,” said Acting Assistant Attorney, Jennifer B. Lowery, of the Southern District of Texas (SDTX). “Human smuggling like Hossain often put migrants in dangerous situations, many leading to serious injury and even death. The SDTX is no stranger to this issue and will fervently pursue the battle, holding accountable not only the transporters, but any individuals who provided assistance along the way.”

According to court documents, between March 2017 and June 2019, Hossain, was residing in Tapachula, Mexico, when he conspired and assisted human smugglers operating out of Bangladesh, South and Central America, and Mexico to bring numerous noncitizens to the U.S. border in exchange for payment. Hossain operated out of Tapachula where he maintained a hotel that housed the noncitizens on their way to the United States. Hossain provided plane tickets and other assistance for the individuals to travel from Tapachula to Monterrey, Mexico, where co-conspirator Moktar Hossain assisted their illegal crossing into the United States.

This 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

Trial Attorneys James Hepburn and Erin Cox of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section are prosecuting this case with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 10/04/2021