Baltimore, Maryland – Shingaidzo Nhekairo, 49, of Arnold, Maryland, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of alien harboring for financial gain and one count of unlawful conduct with respect to immigration documents. The indictment was returned on June 20, 2018, and unsealed today upon the arrest of Nhekairo.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Cardell T. Morant of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Baltimore Office.
According to the two-count indictment, between 2006 and 2014, Nhekairo harbored the victim, a national of Zimbabwe. The indictment further alleges that the defendant concealed the victim’s immigration status for purposes of financial gain and confiscated the victim’s passport to maintain her labor and services.
If convicted, Nhekairo faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for illegally harboring an alien, and a maximum of one year in prison for withholding the victim’s immigration documents, plus mandatory restitution. An initial appearance was held this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Nhekairo was released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur and Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore commended the HSI for its work in the investigation, and recognized the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for its assistance. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Ayn B. Ducao, and Trial Attorneys Vasantha Rao and Emily Savner of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, who are prosecuting the case.