Pakistani man sentenced in attempt at smuggling

AP News
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Posted: Jan 05, 2012 9:42 PM
Pakistani man sentenced in attempt at smuggling

A Pakistani man was sentenced Thursday to 50 months in prison for trying to smuggle someone he thought was part of the Pakistani Taliban into the United States.

Prosecutors said law enforcement agents worked with confidential sources to ask the three Pakistani co-defendants to help get someone they were told was a member of the terrorist group into the U.S. earlier this year. The three men were living in Ecuador and are accused of getting the fictitious person a false Pakistani passport.

Irfan Ul Haq, 37, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates. On Dec. 21, 2011, Judge Bates sentenced Qasim Ali, 32, to 40 months in prison, and Zahid Yousaf, 43, to 36 months in prison.

On Sept. 12, 2011, each defendant pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

As part of their plea agreements, the defendants agreed to be sent to Pakistan upon the completion of their sentences.

The three men were arrested in Miami on March 13, 2011, on an indictment charging them with one count each of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling. Based on the defendants' guilty pleas to terrorism conspiracy charges, the government dismissed at the sentencing hearing Thursday the charges of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling.