Pakistani Man Admits Smuggling at Least 54 Into U.S.

A man pleaded guilty in Seattle to smuggling illegal immigrants from Pakistan and India into the United States through Canada.

The plea was entered Tuesday by Ahsan Ilahi, described in court records as having Canadian and Pakistani citizenship. Sentencing is set for Jan. 8.

Ilahi and 13 others were indicted on April 13, 2006, in what authorities described as a Canada-based human smuggling ring. Authorities said at the time that no terrorist activity was suspected.

Investigators say the group brought 54 Pakistani and East Indian nationals into Washington state from British Columbia, charging as much as $35,000 each.

Ilahi, described by a U.S. magistrate as having "an extensive background in the use of fraudulent passports," was arrested in Canada and was returned to the U.S. on Aug. 19.