Nilesh Kumar Patel and Harshad Mehta jailed for smuggling foreign nationals into US

Washington (PTI): Two Indians have been sentenced to 17 months in prison by a federal court for their roles in smuggling foreign nationals into the US, the Department of Justice announced.

Nilesh Kumar Patel, 42, and Harshad Mehta, 67, were sentenced for their roles in a conspiracy to illegally transport foreign nationals into the US via commercial airline flights, Acting US Attorney William E Fitzpatrick said.

They had pleaded guilty to the charges in January.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Patel and Mehta admitted that from June 2013 through October 2015, they conspired to make money by recruiting Indian nationals to enter and reside in the US illegally.

They admitted that on July 24, 2014, they brought two Indian nationals to Bangkok, so that they could be transported into the US.

They also admitted paying an individual who was actually an undercover officer to transport the foreign nationals from Thailand into Newark.

The two have also been sentenced to three years of supervised release.