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Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Harris County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Houston, TX: Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with his role in a scheme to smuggle undocumented individuals from Mexico into the United States.
Between March 2017 and June 2019, Mohamad Milon Hossain, 41, a Bangladeshi national formerly residing in Tapachula, Mexico, conspired with and assisted human smugglers operating out of Bangladesh, South and Central America, and Mexico to bring numerous undocumented individuals to the U.S. border in exchange for payment. Hossain operated out of Tapachula where he maintained a hotel that housed the individuals 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 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 into the United States.”
“This criminal placed profit before life,” said Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery of the Southern District of Texas (SDTX). “Human smugglers 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.”
“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 of 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 case was investigated by HSI Laredo, with assistance from the HSI Human Smuggling Unit, HSI Mexico City, HSI Houston, HSI Calexico, HSI Monterrey, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations, CBP Border Patrol and the U.S. Marshals Service. 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 Erin Cox and James Hepburn of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section prosecuted this case with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland established Joint Task Force Alpha to marshal the investigative and prosecutorial resources of the Department of Justice, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to enhance U.S. enforcement efforts against the most prolific and dangerous human smuggling and trafficking groups operating in Mexico and the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. JTFA consists of federal prosecutors and attorneys from U.S. Attorney’s Offices along the Southwest Border (District of Arizona, Southern District of California, Southern District of Texas, and Western District of Texas), from the Criminal Division and the Civil Rights Division, along with law enforcement agents and analysts from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s HSI and CBP. The FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration are also part of the Task Force.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 46 months in prison.