SAN ANTONIO — A citizen of Jordan pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to bring illegal aliens to the United States, which also included a related charge smuggling Yemeni nationals into the United States through Mexico.
This plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and U.S. Attorney John F. Bash, Western District of Texas. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of HSI New York, HSI Monterrey, HSI Jordan, the U.S. Embassy of Jordan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Border Patrol Del Rio Sector, and FBI San Antonio.
Moayad Heider Mohammad Aldari, 31, from Jordan, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bringing in illegal aliens to include his role in a criminal scheme to smuggle Yemenis nationals and into the United States through Mexico.
“When Mohammad Aldari illegally smuggled multiple Yemeni aliens across our southwest border, he put the security of the United States in peril,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “The Department of Justice cannot — and will not — tolerate such threats to our national security. The Criminal Division remains dedicated to prosecuting alien smugglers, especially criminals like Aldari who attempt to sneak aliens from countries of interest into the United States.”
“Border security is national security. We simply cannot have an immigration system that allows people from all over the world to enter this country without detection,” said U.S. Attorney John Bash. “We must know the identity of every person setting foot on U.S. soil, however they enter.”
“This case is a perfect example of collaboration between different government agencies, making each individual agency more effective than it would be on its own,” said Raul Ortiz, Chief Patrol Agent, Del Rio Sector. “The U.S. Border Patrol relies on cooperation with our law enforcement partners to secure our nation’s borders and to protect the communities we live in.”
According to the plea agreement, during the second half of 2017, Aldairi 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 to enable them to blend in after crossing. Aldairi will be sentenced later.
Assistant Trial Attorney James Hepburn, DOJ Criminal Division of Human Rights and Special Prosecution, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Watters, Western District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.