2 sentenced to federal prison for bribing immigration officials

Two Atlanta men will spend two years each in federal prison for bribing a federal official for immigration status, authorities said.

Hakeem Omar and Ibrahim Barrie paid a series bribes to an undercover agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, prosecutors said.

Between September 2010 and roughly July 2012, Omar, 32, paid thousands of dollars to the undercover agent for what he believed was aid with his U.S. immigration status, authorities said.

“Many dream of obtaining their United States citizenship and pursue that dream lawfully,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of Omar in a statement. “This defendant attempted to subvert the immigration process by offering bribes to a federal agent. Now, after paying thousands of dollars in bribes, he is headed to prison and has been stripped of his fraudulently obtained citizenship.”

In addition to the two-year federal prison stint, Omar must serve three years of supervised release, then be turned over to an immigration agent for deportation proceedings, authorities said.

Omar is the second person convicted in this scheme, prosecutors said.

His co-defendant, 32-year-old Barrie, was sentenced on Oct. 21, and will face deportation after his two-year prison sentence is done, prosecutors said.

“Quite simply, America’s immigration system is not for sale,” said David P. D’Amato, special agent in charge of ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility for the Southeast Region. “OPR works closely with partners like the U.S. Attorney’s Office to ensure that those who seek to compromise the integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system pay a price for their crimes.”