A Pakistani man has pleaded guilty to helping smuggle at least 81 people from Pakistan and Afghanistan into the United States by way of dangerous journeys through Brazil and Latin America.
Sharafat Ali Khan, 32, pleaded guilty on April 12 to charges of conspiracy to smuggle undocumented migrants into the United States for profit.
Prosecutors say he schemed with others to bring people from Pakistan and elsewhere through Brazil and Central America into the United States by planes, buses, and on foot.
Dozens of people identified Khan as the person who helped facilitate their travel from Brazil to the United States between May 2014 and June 2016, according to court records.
Prosecutors say Khan, a resident of Brazil, managed safe houses for the travelers and arranged for people in other countries to serve as their escorts on different legs of the route.
Khan told prosecutors the voyage included long hikes with little food and water through the remote tropical forest of Darien Gap, on the border of Colombia and Panama.
Court records show the travelers paid between $5,000 and $12,000 each before their journeys, which sometimes included long days of walking through the jungle.
Khan faces sentencing in July.