Man admits to role in African human smuggling ring

March 30, 2010 2:11:10 PM PDT
Federal authorities say an African man has pleaded guilty to taking part in an international smuggling ring that ferried illegal immigrants from Africa to the U.S. by way of South and Central America and Mexico. Prosecutors in Houston said Tuesday that 23-year-old Samuel Abrahaley Fessahazion from the northeast African nation of Eritrea, admitted to helping smuggle illegal immigrants to the U.S. for private financial gain.

During a court hearing Monday, Fessahazion pleaded guilty to helping smuggle up to 24 illegal immigrants, primarily East Africans, into the U.S. from June 2007 until January 2008.

Fessahazion's attorney, Peter Bray, said he plans to present evidence during sentencing in June that will help explain his client's actions.