Indian man sentenced for role in human smuggling operation

July 9, 2019 GMT

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — An Indian national who conspired to smuggle foreign citizens into the U.S. on commercial airline flights has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison.

Bhavin Patel was sentenced Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors say the 39-year-old Patel was part of a smuggling operation that recruited Indian nationals and others who would pay fees to be smuggled into the U.S. They say an undercover officer posing as a smuggler met Patel in Bangkok, Thailand in 2013 and helped him smuggle several people into the U.S. through Newark Liberty International Airport.

Patel was arrested last December upon his arrival at Newark Liberty. He eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to smuggle foreign nationals into the U.S. for private financial gain.