Convicted Pawtucket man captured trying to flee to Paris

Rhode Island – Homeland Sercurity agents captured Najd Khalil, 27 of Pawtucket trying to escape days before he began serving a sentence in prison for two years for smuggling cigarettes. The federal agents apprehended a Delta airplane that was bound for Paris from Logan Airport and then to Beirut.  Khalil had removed the electronic shackle and got an emergency passport at the Lebanese Embassy in New York, 4 days after hearing his sentence which starts October 27.

Khalil pleaded guilty earlier this year to transporting, possessing or selling more than 10,000 contraband cigarettes; money laundering; and conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud.

On Sept. 26, the judge sentenced him to serve a total of two years in prison and three years of supervised release. He ordered Khalil and his alleged coconspirators to pay $1,383,130 in restitution, and that Khalil be deported after serving his sentence.

Khalil was one of six people, including his two brothers, indicted in May 2013 for his role in a scheme to possess, transport and distribute contraband cigarettes in Rhode Island. Months later, he was indicted on additional charges that he conspired to defraud the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp program, of more than $3 million; money laundering; and Social Security fraud.

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