South Indian Snared in ICE Sting

Naga Srinivasa Rao Pilla (38), an Indian citizen from Andhra Pradesh, has been arrested for allegedly trying to bribe an officer of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) service.

According to ICE’s criminal complaint, Naga Srinivasa Rao Pilla, who was ordered removed by an immigration judge after his asylum petition was rejected, offered to pay an unnamed ICE officer $2,000 to help him obtain immigration benefits.

ICE officers arrested Pilla on July 13, 2015 at a meeting between Pilla and the ICE officer to exchange the money.

Pilla faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison for bribery of a public official. Pilla was also charged with procurement of citizenship or naturalization unlawfully, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.

The alleged bribery was investigated by the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility.

“ICE takes all bribery attempts of our employees very seriously,” said Terrence Opiola, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility, overseeing the Northeast Region. “All allegations of bribery are investigated thoroughly and swift enforcement action is taken when appropriate.”

Naga Srinivasa Rao Pilla must be considered innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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