Jordanian National Guilty in Conspiracy to Smuggle Yemenis Across Texas Border
The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas announced on Tuesday that a Jordanian national pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to bring an alien to the United States for financial gain.
On Tuesday morning, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John Bash announced that Jordanian national Moayad Heider Mohammad Aldairi pleaded guilty to federal human smuggling charges.
During a press conference Tuesday morning in San Antonio, U.S. Attorney Bash said that Aldairi conspired to bring six Yemeni nationals into the United States illegally. The plans included flying them to Ecuador and then smuggling them through Mexico. The smugglers moved the Yemeni nationals across the border in the Eagle Pass Sector. Border Patrol agents quickly encountered the migrants and arrested them. He said the Yemeni nationals paid Aldairi between $2,000 and $6,000 per person for the smuggling services.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski added, “When Mohammad Aldairi illegally smuggled multiple Yemeni aliens across our southwest border, he put the security of the United States in peril. The Department of Justice cannot — and will not — tolerate such threats to our national security.”
U.S. Attorney Bash stated, “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. We must know the identity of every person setting foot on U.S. soil, however they enter.”
Bash said the Yemeni nationals crossed in Eagle Pass, between two international ports of entry bridges from Piedras Negras, Mexico. He said they were likely headed to Chicago and New York.
Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz told reporters his agents have apprehended migrants from 30 different countries so far this year.
While Bash would not directly comment on any ties to terrorism the migrants smuggled by Aldairi might have, he stressed that people crossing the border from these countries could easily come here for those purposes.
Officials took Aldairi into custody as he entered the U.S. at JFK International Airport in July 2018, Bash stated.
According to the indictment, prosecutors charged that Aldairi conspired “with others known and unknown” to smuggle illegal aliens into the U.S. The indictment lists six Yemenis referred to as “Basaa, Rsad, Mah, Has, Hahah, an Aaam.” The indictment states that these individuals did not have permission or authorization from the U.S. government to enter or reside in the country.
The indictment stated that Aldairi operated the conspiracy from Monterrey, Mexico.
Aldairi and his co-conspirators “arranged to be paid thousands of dollars in Mexico, Jordan, and elsewhere” for their smuggling services. He then transported the migrants from Monterrey to the Rio Grande and “instructed them where and when to cross into the United States,” the indictment states.
The smuggling activities occurred between July 2017 and December 2017, according to the indictment.