ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A Liberian national was sentenced to time served and one year unsupervised release July 26, following an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC).
U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Isaac T. Kannah, 51, of Philadelphia, PA, who was convicted of misprision of a felony, was sentenced to time served and one year unsupervised release by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. In addition, the defendant has agreed to revocation of his immigration status and will voluntarily depart the United States after immigration proceedings.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey, who handled the case, stated that, in May 2011, an Immigration Judge of the Executive Office of Immigration Review was conducting removal proceedings against George Boley. Boley was the former head of the Liberian Peace Council during the Liberian Civil War in the 1990s. One of the issues material to the removal proceedings was whether the Liberian Peace Council was a warring or fighting faction during the war. In his testimony, Boley asserted that the Liberian Peace Council was not a warring or fighting faction. He offered false and inaccurate testimony on this issue during his removal proceedings, in an effort to corruptly influence, obstruct and impede theose proceedings, a felony in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1505.
In May 2011, Kannah knew that Boley was offering false and inaccurate testimony in order to obstruct the removal proceedings. Despite this knowledge, the defendant failed to notify the relevant federal authorities (such as the Immigration Judge or federal law enforcement authorities) about the crime. In addition, Kannah also sought affirmatively to conceal the crime by failing to state that the Liberian Peace Council was in fact a warring faction during the Liberian Civil War despite being questioned on that issue during his testimony at Boley’s removal proceedings.
Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by HSI Buffalo, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly and HSI Philadelphia.
The United States Attorney’s Office was assisted in this prosecution by Brenda Sue Thornton, a Department of Justice Trial Attorney with the Counterterrorism Section, National Security Division.
Since 2003, ICE has arrested more than 410 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders against and physically removed 908 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Additionally, ICE has facilitated the departure of an additional 122 such individuals from the United States.
Currently, HSI has more than 135 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,750 leads and removals cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, the HRVWCC has issued more than 75,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 110 countries and stopped over 260 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the U.S.
ICE is committed to rooting out known or suspected human rights violators who seek a safe haven in the United States. The HRVWCC investigates human rights violators who try to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. These individuals may use fraudulent identities or falsified records to enter the country and attempt to blend into communities in the United States.
The HRVWCC was established in 2008 to further ICE’s efforts to identify, locate and prosecute human rights abusers in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, female genital mutilation and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. The HRVWCC leverages the expertise of a select group of agents, lawyers, intelligence and research specialists, historians and analysts who direct the agency’s broader enforcement efforts against these offenders.
Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE tip line at 1-866-347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also email HRV.ICE@ice.dhs.gov or complete ICE’s https://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.