- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A British citizen will serve three years in prison for smuggling nearly 100 illegal immigrants into the U.S., the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Habtom Merhay, 47, a dual British-Eritrean citizen, pled guilty to human smuggling charges. Prosecutors said that between May 2009 and Sept. 2010, he smuggled 99 undocumented immigrants into the U.S.

Working from his office in Dubai, in exchange for $14,000, Merhay bought tickets for the undocumented immigrants to travel to South and Central America, and then worked with smuggling networks to get the people into the U.S.

Justice officials said the immigrants came mostly from Ethiopia and Eritrea. Mr. Merhay was arrested in Morocco last year.

The investigation was led by agencies in the DOJ’s Extraterritorial Criminal Travel Strike Force, a unit that works on cross-border human smuggling cases.

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