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Brazilian pleads guilty to smuggling Indians into US

January 05, 2013 11:20 IST

A Brazilian national pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme to smuggle undocumented migrants from India into the United States, authorities said.

Fabiano Augusto Amorim, 28, a Brazilian national, faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. His sentencing is scheduled for April 3.

His other co-conspirators Maria Adela De Luna and Kaushik Jayantibhai Thakkar have already pleaded guilty.

At the plea hearing and in related court documents, Amorim admitted on Friday that between January 2011 and April 2012, he conspired with his co-defendants to bring undocumented migrants to US and to encourage and induce undocumented migrants to come to US unlawfully.

According to court documents, Amorim and his co-conspirators devised the scheme to profit financially.

In support of the conspiracy, Amorim and other conspirators recruited individuals in India who were willing to pay up to $60,000 to be smuggled into the US, federal authorities said.

For their smuggling operations, Amorim and his co-conspirators used a network of alleged conspirators in South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the United States, including the state of Texas.

Using this network, Amorim and his co-conspirators transported groups of undocumented migrants from locations within India through South America, Central America and the Caribbean and then into the United States by various means, including by air travel, automobiles, water craft and foot, the Department of Justice said.

Many of these smuggling events, including the incidents described in the indictment, involved illegal entry into the US via the border between the US and Mexico near McAllen and Laredo, Texas.

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