Guyanese Woman Charged with Smuggling Indian Nationals to the United States

Annita Devi Gerald, aka Annita Rampersad, 52 (from Guyana), has been indicted on charges of conspiracy and alien smuggling in connection with her role in the smuggling of four Indian nationals to the United States via Belize.

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that, according to the indictment, from approximately April to November, 2009, Gerald and others conspired to smuggle four Indian nationals into the United States. Allegedly, Gerald and her co-conspirators fraudulently obtained Belizean visas for the Indian nationals and escorted them from India to Belize, moving through various countries in Central, South, and North America. Gerald allegedly provided lodging for all four Indian nationals in Belize while further arrangements were made. Apparently, Gerald arranged transportation for one of the travelers to cross the border from Belize into Mexico. The individual was escorted through Mexico and arrangements were made to illegally cross the Mexico-U.S. border to Houston. There is no information about the three other travelers.

If convicted, Gerald faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy, and 10 years in prison for each of the four counts of encouraging and inducing aliens to come to the United States for profit. The investigation was conducted by ICE’s Office of Investigations in Miami and Houston, with the critical assistance of the ICE Attaché offices in El Salvador, Ecuador, Brazil, Singapore, and Panama, as well as the ICE Office of Intelligence in Washington, and the Alien Smuggling Interdiction Unit of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Washington.

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