Washington, DC - A Jordanian national residing in Monterrey, Mexico was arrested Saturday on arrival at JFK International Airport to face a criminal complaint issued in the Western District of Texas for his role in a scheme to smuggle special interest aliens from Mexico into the United States.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney John F. Bash of the Western District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Shane M. Folden of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Antonio made the announcement.
On May 29, an arrest warrant was issued pursuant to a criminal complaint, which alleges that in the later half of 2017, Moayad Heider Mohammad Aldairi, 31, conspired with others to smuggle six Yemeni nationals across the Texas border and into the United States in exchange for a fee.
Aldairi was presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go in the Eastern District of New York for his initial appearance. At the hearing, Judge Go ordered that Aldairi be held pending transfer to the Western District of Texas for further criminal proceedings.
“Aldairi allegedly smuggled six Yemeni citizens across the Mexican border and into the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “Alien smuggling puts our national security at risk, and the Criminal Division is dedicated to enforcing our immigration laws and disrupting the flow of illegal aliens into the United States.”
“The arrest of Aldairi showcases HSI’s unique ability to coordinate investigative efforts across international boundaries with multiple countries and different agencies throughout the U.S. Government,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Folden. “Attacking the leader/organizers of illicit international pathways for aliens from certain countries of interest will always be a priority of HSI.”
This case is being investigated by HSI Eagle Pass, with assistance from HSI New York, HSI Jordan and the U.S. Embassy of Jordan. The investigation is being 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.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney James Hepburn of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Watters of the Western District of Texas.
The charges contained in the complaint are merely allegations and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.