Iranian man arrested in attempt to smuggle Iranians


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Desertdog
June 1, 2005, 06:16 PM
Another example of why we need to secure the borders of America. Maybe they weren't terrorist, and maybe they were.

Iranian man arrested in attempted human smuggling case
http://kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=3414242


A 39-year-old Iranian man has been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle other Iranians into the United States through Mexico.

Zeayadali Malhamdary was arrested on Thursday in the parking lot of his tailoring business in Mesa, according to a probable cause statement released by the U.S. Attorney's Office on Tuesday.

At his arraignment Tuesday afternoon at U.S. District Court here, a plea of not guilty was entered on Malhamdary's behalf. His detention hearing was continued until Thursday.

The FBI began investigating Malhamdary, a legal permanent resident of the United States, after a source told immigration officials that Malhamdary had sought help getting false Mexican visas so he could bring Iranians into Mexico and then across the border into Arizona.

The source also told investigators that Malhamdary had asked for help bringing his sister into the United States. According to the probable cause statement by FBI Agent Aaron Kellerman, the source didn't help him, but the sister did arrive in Arizona.

Federal prosecutors say Malhamdary had previously smuggled about 60 Iranians into the United States.

An undercover agent was introduced to Malhamdary and allegedly negotiated plans to get false Mexican visas placed on Iranian passports so the Iranians could enter Mexico and then be smuggled across the border into Arizona.

Malhamdary flew to Tehran, Iran, in March, allegedly to get the passports of the Iranians he planned to smuggle in the United States, Kellerman said in the statement.

In late March, the undercover agent was given three passports.

Malhamdary allegedly told the undercover agent in May that he had eight more people who wanted to be smuggled into the United States.

The undercover agent on Thursday met with Malhamdary and agreed to pick up three Iranians in Mexico City and then to bring them to Nogales, Mexico, and arrange to have them smuggled across the border, Kellerman said in his statement.

When he was arrested, Malhamdary allegedly told investigators that he wanted to bring Iranians into the United States so they could seek refugee status. No one answered the phone at his tailoring business on Tuesday afternoon.

If convicted of the three attempted smuggling charges, Malhamdary could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the counts.

Deborah McCarley, a spokeswoman for the FBI office in Phoenix, said the investigation continues, but authorities don't currently have reason to believe that there are any terrorist connections to the case. "There's nothing to suggest that."

But she said the ability to come over the border illegally creates a vulnerability.

"When people are coming over the borders illegally and using false identification, you have to be concerned about that and it's a vulnerability to our borders," McCarley said.

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dolanp
June 1, 2005, 06:19 PM
Surely they were just trying to take the jobs Americans don't want right? :rolleyes:

Standing Wolf
June 1, 2005, 06:56 PM
When people are coming over the borders illegally and using false identification, you have to be concerned about that and it's a vulnerability to our borders...

Wow. That is one very sharp F., B., and I. spokeswoman!

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