Pawtucket man convicted for cigarette-trafficking captured in plane bound for Paris

From: Providence Journal

PROVIDENCE — Homeland Security agents on Saturday captured a 27-year-old Pawtucket man aboard a flight bound for Paris and then on to Lebanon — just weeks before he was to begin serving two years in prison for his role in a contraband cigarette trafficking ring, federal authorities said.

Federal probation officers alerted U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials Saturday that it appeared that Najd Khalil had removed his electronic monitoring ankle bracelet and might be trying to flee the country, court records show. Agents learned that Khalil had purchased a Delta Airlines ticket from Logan Airport to Charles de Gaulle Airport in France and then on to Beirut, Lebanon. They also learned he boarded the flight and was seated in seat 41A at the time.

Customs agents entered the plane and detained Khalil, Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland said. A stewardess told one agent that Khalil grew nervous upon learning that the flight had been held up and asked to change seats.

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