WASHINGTON–Indian national Kaushik Jayantibhai Thakkar and Brazilian national Fabiano Augusto Amorim were each sentenced Friday to serve 36 months in prison for their roles in smuggling undocumented migrants to the United States for private financial gain.
Thakkar, 33, and Amorim, 28, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. in the Southern District of Texas. In addition to their prison terms, Thakkar and Amorim were sentenced to serve two years of supervised release.
On Dec. 2, 2012, and Jan. 4, 2013, respectively, Thakkar and Amorim each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to bring undocumented migrants into the United States for profit and to one count of unlawfully bringing two undocumented migrants into the United States for profit.
According to court documents, Thakkar and Amorim worked together and with other co-conspirators to smuggle individuals from India into the United States. In support of the conspiracy, Thakkar and others recruited individuals in India who were willing to pay up to $60,000 to be smuggled into the United States. For their smuggling operations, Thakkar and Amorim and their associates used a network of co-conspirators in South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the United States, including the state of Texas. Using this network, Thakkar, Amorim and their co-conspirators transported groups of undocumented migrants from locations within India through South America, Central America and the Caribbean and then into the United States by various means, including by air travel, automobiles, water craft and foot. Many of these smuggling events involved illegal entry into the United States via the border between the United States and Mexico near McAllen and Laredo, Texas.
A third co-conspirator, Maria Adela De Luna, pleaded guilty on Nov. 9, 2012, to one count of conspiracy to harbor undocumented migrants in the United States. On Feb. 15, 2013, De Luna was sentenced to serve 19 months in prison and three years of supervised release for her role in the conspiracy.